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Full text of "Arshile Gorky, 1904-1948 : a retrospective"

Arshile Gorky 

A RETROSPECTIVE 




Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

Metropolitan New York Library Council - METRO 



http://archive.org/details/arshiOOwald 



Arshile Gorky 



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Diane Waldman 



Arshile Gorky 



1904-1948 

A Retrospective 



This project is supported by the National 

Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C. 

and Knoll International 

Published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, 

in collaboration with 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 



front cover: 

The Liver Is the Cock's Comb. 1944 

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 

Buffalo, New York 

Gift of Seymour H. Knox, 1956 

back cover: 

One Year the Milkweed. 1944 

Collection National Gallery of Art, Washington, 

D.C. 

Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund 

frontispiece: Arshile Gorky, ca. 1933 



Book Design: Nai Y. Chang 
Editor: Carol Fuerstein 



ISBN 0-89207-025-0 

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 
80-52992 



Fig. 5 © The Barnes Foundation, Merion, 
Pennsylvania; Fig. 14 © S.P.A.D.E.M., Paris/ 
V.A.G.A., New York, 1981 ; all other illustrations 
© The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 
New York, 1981 

Published by Harry N. Abrams, Incorporated, 
New York, in collaboration with The Solomon 
R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, 1981 

All rights reserved. No part of the contents of 
this book may be reproduced without the written 
permission of the publisher 



Printed and bound in Japan 



The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation 



PRESIDENT 
VICE-PRESIDENT 



PETER O. LAWSON-JOHNSTON 

THE RIGHT HONORABLE EARL CASTLE STEWART 



trustees Anne L. Armstrong, Joseph W. Donner, Robin 

Chandler Duke, John Hilson, Harold W. McGraw, 
Wendy McNeil, Thomas M. Messer, Frank R. 
Milliken, A. Chauncey Newlin, Lewis T. Preston, 
Seymour Slive, Albert E. Thiele, Michael F. 
Wettach, William T. Ylvisaker 



Jr. 



HONORARY TRUSTEES 
IN PERPETUITY 



Solomon R. Guggenheim, Justin K. Thannhauser, 
Peggy Guggenheim 



ADVISORY BOARD 



Elaine Dannheisser, Susan Morse Hilles, Morton 
L. Janklow, Barbara Jonas, Bonnie Ward Simon, 
Stephen Swid 



staff Henry Berg, Counsel 

Theodore G. Dunker, Secretary-Treasurer; Aili 
Pontynen, Assistant Treasurer; Barry Bragg, 
Assistant to the Treasurer; Margaret P. Cauchois, 
Assistant; Veronica M. O'Connell 



DIRECTOR 



THOMAS M. MESSER 



The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 



Diane Waldman 
Director of Exhibitions 



Margit Rowell 
Director of Collections 



staff Louise Averill Svendsen, Senior Curator; Vivian 

Endicott Barnett, Associate Curator; Carol 
Fuerstein, Editor; Mary Joan Hall, Librarian; 
Ward Jackson, Archivist; Philip Verre, Collections 
Coordinator; Lisa Dennison Tabak, Exhibitions 
Coordinator; Susan B. Hirschfeld, Lucy Flint, 
Curatorial Coordinators 

Angelica Zander Rudenstine, Adjunct Curator 

Orrin H. Riley, Conservator; Dana L. Cranmer, 
Assistant Conservator; Elizabeth Estabrook, 
Conservation Assistant; Harold B. Nelson, 
Registrar; Jane Rubin, Elizabeth Jarvis, Assistant 
Registrars; Marion Kahan, Registrar's Assistant; 
Saul Fuerstein, Preparator; Scott A. Wixon, 
Operations Manager; Robert E. Mates, 
Photographer; Mary Donlon, Associate 



Photographer; Elizabeth S. Celotto, Photography 
Coordinator 

Mimi Poser, Public Affairs Officer; Vanessa Jalet, 
Special Events Coordinator; Marianne Collins, 
Public Affairs Coordinator 

Miriam Emden, Membership Department Head; 
Carolyn Porcelli, Ann Kraft, Development 
Associates; Cynthia Wootton, Development Assistant 

Agnes R. Connolly, Auditor; Charles Hovland, 
Sales Manager; James O'Shea, Sales Coordinator; 
Robert Turner, Restaurant Manager; Darrie 
Hammer, Katherine W. Briggs, Information; 
Susan L. Halper, Executive Assistant 

David A. Sutter, Building Superintendent; Guy 
Fletcher, Jr., Charles Gazzola, Assistant Building 
Superintendents; Charles F. Banach, Head Guard; 
Elbio Almiron, Assistant Head Guard 



life members Eleanor, Countess Castle Stewart, Mr. and Mrs. 

Werner Dannheisser, Mr. William C. Edwards, 
Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Andrew P. Fuller, Mrs. Bernard 
F. Gimbel, Mr. and Mrs. Peter O. Lawson- 
Johnston, Mrs. Samuel I. Rosenman, Mrs. S. H. 
Scheuer, Mrs. Hilde Thannhauser 



CORPORATE PATRONS 



Alcoa Foundation, Atlantic Richfield Foundation, 
Exxon Corporation, Mobil Corporation, Philip 
Morris Incorporated 



GOVERNMENT PATRONS 



National Endowment for the Arts, New York State 
Council on the Arts 



Mrs. Charles Abrams, New York 

American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., New 

York 
Mr. and Mrs. Harry W. Anderson 
Satenig Avedisian, Connecticut 
Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bareiss 
Mr. and Mrs. Michael J. Berberian, Connecticut 
Mr. and Mrs. E.A. Bergman 
Marilyn and Bernard Brodsky 
Ann Dunnigan 
Stefan Edlis 

Gerald S. Elliott, Chicago 
Richard Estes, New York 
Dr. and Mrs. Martin L. Gecht 
Mr. and Mrs. Philip Gersh, Beverly Hills 

Lenders to the Exhibition Milton A - Gordon ' New York 

Mr. and Mrs. Chaim Gross 

Graham Gund 

Mr. and Mrs. Michael de Havenon, New York 

Edwin Janss, Jr. 

Barbara and Donald Jonas 

Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Kainen 

Mary Judith Kanner 

Dr. and Mrs. L. Keoshian, California 

Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Kohl 

Steingrim Laursen, Copenhagen 

Mrs. M. Victor Leventritt, New York 

Julien Levy 

Mr. and Mrs. H. Gates Lloyd 

Duncan MacGuigan, New York 

Menil Foundation, Houston 

Dorothy C. Miller 

C.A. Muschenheim, Evanston, Illinois 

Mr. and Mrs. S.I. Newhouse, Jr. 

Mr. and Mrs. Gifford Phillips, New York 

Mrs. Walter L. PortnofT, New York 

Dr. and Mrs. William Rattner, Huntington Woods, 

Michigan 
Michael M. Rea 

Mr. and Mrs. Edmond Ruben, Minneapolis 
Christopher C. Schwabacher, New York 
Ethel K. Schwabacher, New York 
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Randall Shapiro, Oak Park, 

Illinois 
Rebecca and Raphael Soyer Collection 
Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Lugano 
Mrs. Joseph Douglas Weiss, Chappaqua, New 

York 
Frederick Weisman Family Collection 
Nicholas Wilder, Los Angeles 
Sue and David Workman 
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo 
Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, 

Oberlin, Ohio 



The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto 

The Art Institute of Chicago 

Australian National Gallery, Canberra 

The Baltimore Museum of Art 

Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, Houston 

The Brooklyn Museum 

The Cleveland Museum of Art 

Grey Art Gallery and Study Center, New York 

University 
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, The 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation 
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 
The High Museum of Art, Atlanta 
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 
Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington 
Los Angeles County Museum of Art 
Lowell Art Association, Lowell, Massachusetts 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 
Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre National 

d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris 
The Museum of Modern Art, New York 
National Collection of Fine Arts, Washington, 

D.C. 
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. 
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa 
Nelson Gallery — Atkins Museum, Kansas City 
Newark International Airport Art Collection, 

The Port Authority of New York and New 

Jersey 
Philadelphia Museum of Art 
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 
Seattle Art Museum 
The Tate Gallery, London 
The University Art Museum, The University of 

Texas at Austin 
Washington Art Consortium, Eastern Washington 

State Historical Society 
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York 
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven 

Xavier Fourcade Inc., New York 

Susanne Hilberry Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan 

Sidney Janis Gallery, New York 

David Nisinson, Inc. 

Allan Stone Gallery, New York 



Table of Contents 



Lenders to the Exhibition, p. 7 



Thomas M. Messer Preface, p. 10 



Diane Waldman Acknowledgements, p. 1 1 



Diane Waldman Arshile Gorky: Poet in Paint, p. 13 



Plates, p. 62 



Lisa Dennison Tabak Chronology, p. 255 



Selected Exhibitions and Reviews, p. 268 



Selected Bibliography, p. 279 



Photographic Credits, p. 284 



Preface 



Arshile Gorky, seen as the end product of a 
historical evolution, becomes the last link in a 
chain of modern painters who have compelled 
our vision since the late nineteenth century. 
But at the same time and not inconsistent with 
such a view, we endow Gorky today with the 
attributes of a pioneer. For it was his painterly 
insights and attributes that helped shape the 
generation of Americans who, having waged 
their first decisive battles at about the time 
of his death, were carried to prominence and 
victory in the 1950s as the martyrs or heroes of 
the New York School. 

Equipped with a native poetic talent which 
searched for visual equivalents, Gorky subjected 
himself in the twenties and thirties to a schooling 
that consisted of conscientious imitation of the 
modern masters and of a deliberate avoidance of 
self-assertion and original expression. The for- 
ties witnessed Gorky's emergence as a major 
and innovative figure in American painting, even 
as his tragic life moved relentlessly toward 
catastrophe. Only in that last phase of his crea- 
tive life does Gorky emerge powerfully in his 
own terms and speak to us through forms that 
are uniquely his. 



Gorky's contribution lies in that special realm 
that seeks to enlarge and materialize human 
awareness. Like others who have followed this 
road before and after him, Gorky, attempting to 
explore the unknown, first perfected the methods 
that served in the domain of the known. As he 
moved into terra incognita, he modified the 
graphic tools in accordance with newly emerging 
modes of thought. The thought, of course, 
remains invisible, but the adaptation of tools 
constitutes the painter's style and becomes a 
visible projection on a widened human hori- 
zon. As viewers we stand before this manifesta- 
tion confounded and moved. 

It would have been impossible to realize a re- 
trospective of such encompassing scope without 
substantial financial assistance. We are therefore 
deeply grateful to the National Endowment for 
the Arts which has demonstrated its continuing 
commitment by giving us essential support for 
this project and to Knoll International for its 
generous grant. 

Thomas M. Messer, Director 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation 



10 



Acknowledgements 



An exhibition of this magnitude and complexity 
would not have been possible without the generous 
support and cooperation of numerous individuals. 
Above all I am most grateful to the family of the 
artist — Mrs. Alexander Fielding, Maro and Matthew 
Spender and Natasha Gorky Young — for their en- 
couragement and their enthusiastic help with every 
aspect of the project. I am indebted as well to the 
artist's nephew Karlen Mooradian for his extensive 
research on Gorky's life and his many insights into 
his Armenian heritage. Gorky's sister Satenig Ave- 
disian and his niece Florence Berberian shared their 
reminiscences with me. Special thanks are also due 
to Ethel Schwabacher whose monograph remains 
the single most insightful and comprehensive vo- 
lume on the artist. 

My gratitude must be expressed to Xavier Four- 
cade, dealer for the Gorky Estate, and to the fol- 
lowing individuals who have been most generous 
in contributing their time and providing me with 
invaluable information: Harold Diamond, Richard 
Feigen, Carroll Janis, Allan Stone and Joan Wash- 
burn. 

In the course of my researches on the artist's life 
and work I have obtained much new and valuable 
information, both in conversation and in the form of 
previously unpublished documentary material from 
critics and scholars and friends and colleagues of 
Arshile Gorky: Will Barnet, Peter Busa, Dorothy 
Dehner, Clement Greenberg, Jim Jordan, Lillian 
Kiesler, Eila Kokkinen, Elaine de Kooning, Lee 
Krasner, Julien Levy, Rook McCulloch, George 
McNeil, Dorothy Miller, Isamu Noguchi. Gordon 
Onslow-Ford, Harry Rand, V. V. Rankine, Mrs. 
Alexander Sandow, Meyer Schapiro, Vaclav Vytlacil 
and Anna Walinska. 

Thanks are also due to Ari Manijikian and Maedo 
Soghomian of the Armenian Prelacy in New York 



and Susan Kelekian of Ararat for providing me with 
useful information on the history of the Armenian 
people. Others who have aided me in documentation 
on the artist and are owed thanks are: Lee Andru- 
kiewicz, Superintendent of Schools, Rhode Island; 
David Boyce of the Sidney Janis Gallery; Mae 
Fitzgerald, Librarian, Whitney Museum of American 
Art; Janet Hynes, Art Reference Section Librarian, 
Boston Public Library; Annette Fields of Sotheby 
Parke-Bernet; Nancy Little and Katherine Moore 
of Knoedler & Co; Vlasta Odell and Brian Wallis 
of the Registrars Department of The Museum 
of Modern Art; Margaret Ann Parker and Jill 
Weinberg of Xavier Fourcade Inc. ; and Lee Smith 
of the Art Students League. 

An undertaking as far-reaching as the current 
exhibition and catalogue involves all levels of the 
Museum's organization. Therefore, the Guggen- 
heim's staff as a whole should be thanked for their 
diligence and devotion. The following staff members 
were most directly concerned with the preparation 
of the exhibition and catalogue: Lisa Dennison 
Tabak, Exhibition Coordinator, who contributed to 
all aspects of the exhibition and publication; Carol 
Fuerstein, Editor, who edited the catalogue and 
saw it through the presses; and volunteers Maud 
Lavin, Merope Lolis, Nina Nathan, Estelle Good- 
man and Leila Taghinia-Milani. 

My last and perhaps most important acknowledge- 
ment is addressed to the lenders who have made this 
retrospective possible. Unless they wish to remain 
anonymous, their names are cited elsewhere in this 
catalogue. I am most grateful to them for their truly 
generous support and commitment to this exhi- 
bition. 

D.W. 



11 




1. Vosdanik and Lady Shushanik, Van City, 1912 



Arshile Gorky: Poet in Paint 



Arshile Gorky died at the age of forty-four on July 
21, 1948. An aspiring poet as well as a painter, Gorky 
was a man of many moods and facets, at once shy, 
warm and exuberant, a gentle, adoring father, a 
compassionate teacher, a student of the great paint- 
ing of the past, a seminal figure in the forging of the 
new American painting that emerged in the late 
1940s, the author of some of the great paintings of 
our time. A proud and melancholy man who had 
experienced extreme poverty and suffering, he was 
both sensitive and high-spirited. A man of many con- 
tradictions, he was passionate about his Armenian 
heritage and loved the art of the past yet was engaged 
in a monumental struggle to create a new direction 
in painting. To his friends and admirers his relation- 
ship to the art of the 1950s was comparable to Ce- 
zanne's relationship to the revolutionary painting of 
the early twentieth century. As Cezanne foretold and 
inspired the Cubism of Picasso and Braque, so Gorky 
heralded the coming of age of an independent and 
progressive American art. 

Arshile Gorky was born Vosdanik Adoian on 
April 15, 1904, in Khorkom, a small village on the 
southeast shore of Lake Van in the Van Province of 
Armenia. He was born into a family of peasants and 
priests, the first son of Sedrak Adoian, a trader and 
occasional carpenter, and Shushanik der Marder- 
osian, a woman of noble birth descended from a long 
line of clergy. Vosdanik was named after his moth 
er's birthplace, Vosdan, the ancient Armenian city 
situated on the southernmost shore of Lake Van. He 
later was given the middle name Manuk (or Ma- 
nook), after his paternal grandfather, for, according 
to Armenian tradition, the eldest son receives the 
name of the clan's patriarch upon his death. Gorky 
was generally known by this name among Armen- 
ians, although he reportedly disliked it. 1 

He was exposed to Armenian art at a very early 
age when his mother took him to her family's fifth- 



century ancestral Vank (an Apostolic church- 
monastery-academy complex), to shrines and tombs 
in the area and to the Church of the Holy Cross on 
the Island of Akhthamar. The latter was a renowned 
tenth-century structure adorned with friezes por- 
traying Biblical themes and saints. Alternating with 
these religious subjects is a bestiary of real and fan- 
tastic creatures, surmounted by vines and wild 
beasts. Although Gorky was too young to have 
formed more than a vague impression of these trea- 
sures, the memory of them stayed with him through- 
out his life. 2 

In 1908 Sedrak Adoian emigrated to the United 
States to avoid conscription into the Turkish Army — 
many Armenians fled at this time to escape the viol- 
ent discrimination of the Turks, who forced them to 
fight against their own countrymen. He left behind 
a wife and four children: Akabi (Akho), born 1896, 
Shushanik's daughter by a former marriage; Satenik, 
born 1901 ; Vartoosh, born 1906; and Vosdanik. On 
leaving, the elder Adoian presented his son with 
red Armenian slippers; these same slippers appear 
throughout Gorky's oeuvre. From 1909 to 1910 the 
young boy attended St. Vardan's Armenian Apos- 
tolic School in Khorkom. There he studied drawing, 
writing and vernacular Armenian ; from his mother he 
learned classical Armenian. In the spring of 1910, with 
his uncle Grikor Adoian, Vosdanik visited the city of 
Van for the first time. A land of ravishing beauty. 
Van is evoked by an Armenian proverb: "Van in this 
world, paradise in the next." The summer of that 
year he attended the funeral of his maternal grand- 
mother, Lady Hamaspiur, purportedly the source of 
his 1947 canvas The Orators (cat. no. 238). Lady 
Shushanik and her three children moved to the city 
of Van in September of 1910, where Vosdanik 
studied at the Husisian Armenian Apostolic School. 
Van, one of the oldest seats of culture in the world, 
with its vast repository of ancient manuscript and 
wall paintings, sculpture and architecture, provided 



13 



young Gorky with a rich artistic legacy on which to 
draw throughout his life. Later that year the family 
moved to Aikesdan, a suburb of Van. The famous 
Vank of Varak, widely known for its priceless col- 
lection of medieval Armenian illuminated manu- 
scripts, was close-by, and the young Gorky visited 
it frequently. (Varak and its manuscripts were des- 
troyed by the Turks in 1915.) At this time he met and 
became friendly with Manuk (Moorad) Mooradian 
who later married Vartoosh. From 1910 to 1915 the 
boy attended The American Mission School in 
Aikesdan. In 1912 in Van city Gorky and his mother 
posed for the local photographer (fig. 1). The photo- 
graph he took was sent to the father in America and 
ultimately became the inspiration for two masterful 
paintings entitled The Artist and His Mother (cat. 
nos. 75,76). 

The Turkish siege of Van, which began in Novem- 
ber of 1914, forced the Adoians to flee Aikesdan on 
June 15, 1915. Burying their belongings in the ground 
at home in the mistaken belief that they would be 
able to return, they took with them only a small 
amount of money and a few days supply of bread. 
One month later they reached Erevan (now Yerevan), 
some hundred miles from Van. Years later Vartoosh 
recalled their journey: 

Naturally, the day they told us we must escape, all 
of the city panicked and the streets filled with 
people .... There was nothing but parched 
earth when we left Van. The Armenian com- 
mandos placed those who could not walk on cara- 
vans. But all of us walked .... We marched 
along the east end of Lake Van, a very moun- 
tainous area, passed Bergri Dasht where later the 
Turks massacred 50,000 Armenians. We walked 
day and night with little rest. We had no food to 
speak of. If mother found anything she would give 
it to Gorky because you take more care of a boy 
than girls and he was the only boy and he was very 
thin. My mother always worried about him. He 
was her favorite. Even when we kept fasts in Van, 
Mother would give him food. Some Vanetzis 
journeyed to Persia and then on to Baghdad. But 
we journeyed to Yerevan, to Caucasian Armenia. 3 

Amid massacres, war and starvation caused by the 
Turkish blockade of Armenia, Gorky, his sisters and 
his mother managed to eke out a meager existence. 
Gorky found various odd jobs, including carpentry, 
at which he was apparently very skilled, and print- 
ing. He attended the Temagan boys' school of St. 
Sarkis Church and learned to speak Caucasian 
Armenian. In the fall of 1916 Akabi and Satenik left 



for America, while Vosdanik remained behind with 
his mother and Vartoosh. Conditions for the impo- 
verished Adoians gradually worsened, and on 
March 20, 1919, the mother died of starvation at 
the age of thirty-nine. Gorky, fifteen, and Vartoosh, 
thirteen, became virtual orphans. In May of 1919 
with the help of an old family friend, Kertza Dikran, 
the children journeyed by train to Tiflis. In August 
they left Tiflis for Batum on the Black Sea, but 
stayed there only three weeks. In September brother 
and sister sailed to Constantinople, where they were 
befriended by Sedrak and Verghinay Kelekian. In 
February of 1920 Gorky and Vartoosh boarded a 
merchant ship bound for Athens, went on to Patras 
for fifteen days and finally took the liner S.S. Presi- 
dente Wilson sailing for America via a one-day 
layover in Naples. 

Gorky and Vartoosh arrived at Ellis Island on 
February 26, 1920. Three days later they traveled to 
Watertown, Massachusetts, which had a large 
Armenian community, to stay with Akabi. In April 
of that year Gorky moved to Providence to stay 
with his father, whom he had not seen for twelve 
years. Records indicate that he attended the Old 
Beacon Street School and Bridgham Junior High 
School, but he decided to move back to Watertown 
in the summer of 1921. Although Gorky soon found 
work at the Hood Rubber Company there, he was 
fired after several months for drawing on the frames 
in which the shoe soles were transported. He also 
angered his employers by drawing on the factory 
roof. By the winter of 1922-23 Gorky was studying 
at Boston's New School of Design. Katherine O'D. 
Murphy, a fellow student, remembered Gorky as: 

. . . a tall, serious young man in his twenties of 
great ambition who spent most of his free time in 
museums and who washed dishes in a restaurant 
for his meals. Afternoons he worked in a small 
portrait class where he could relax, walking back 
and forth with intricate dance steps, telling his 
long fanciful delightful tales of his boyhood in 
Russia. 

Among his stories was one, that he was the nephew 
of Maxim Gorky. That caused considerable em- 
barrassment to the school director who had intro- 
duced him as such to a friend of the author. 

During the noon recesses, Gorky used to sketch 
outdoors and one dull day, Gorky painted a small 
panel of the Park Street Church. A parishoner 
passing by offered Gorky five dollars for the paint- 
ing if he would make his figures more distinct and 
less like peasants. Naturally Gorky was furious 



14 




Gorky (seated) with Miss Lisle, Ethel M. Cooke, friends from 
New School of Design, and Felix Chooligian, friend from 
Van. 1924 



and returned to the school enraged but sorry that he 
had not sold the little oil for $5.00 and offering it 
at that price. So I gave him $10.00 for the little 
oil and $10.00 was quite a sum to me then.* 

This modest and charming little canvas of 1924 (cat. 
no. 1), painted in a Post-Impressionist style, is one 
of the few remaining works of this time. The rosy 
brick and lavender hues of the church, the pale 
lilac sky, the odd greens and deep yellow of the 
foreground foretell Gorky's future color preferences. 
Clearly the work of a young artist, it is nevertheless 
adroit in its painterliness. 

Gorky drew constantly from childhood. Vartoosh 
remembered her brother always drew pictures on the 
sand and did a great deal of wood carving. She re- 
called, "When Mother was alive in Yerevan she 
would encourage him and give him some money to 
purchase paper and pencils." 5 The late Yenovk der 
Hagopian, a sculptor and close friend of the artist 
from their boyhood days in Van, recalled their early 
shared love of art: "In Khorkom, we would go 
together to the shrine of Vart Badrik and become 
thrilled by the khatchkars all around it. You know, 
the ancient Armenian tombstones with miniature 
Armenian drawings carved on them. We were always 
so amazed. Neither I nor he had any advanced ideas 
about art at such an early age naturally. At that time 
all we knew was that they were beautiful and we 
would go there and touch them with our hands." 6 
Der Hagopian remembered telling his father about 
the beautiful tombstones; in turn his father showed 
him the paintings in the family Bible. After relating 
this to Manuk, "Manuk asked his mother to show 
him the paintings in their family's Armenian Bible. 
And his family had a great deal of art because 
Manuk's grandfather was the head of the Vank of 
Charahan Surp Nishan in Vosdan. And I remember 
that Manuk had a knife with which he carved flutes 
in the early spring from the willow trees which we 
call uri" 1 

Gorky and der Hagopian caught up with one 
another after World War I in Watertown. At Gor- 
ky's initiation, the two would often take their paint- 
ing boxes to the Charles River and other sites to 
work. Der Hagopian wrote that Gorky often found 
unusual places to set up an easel, once choosing a 
busy intersection, disrupting traffic and nearly get- 
ting himself arrested. Gorky continued to carve 
and made miniature versions of the plows of Van — 
a subject that still occupied him in the 1940s. Der 
Hagopian, who worked with Gorky on one plow, 
recalled the artist's obsession with craftsmanship 
at this time. 



Gorky's Armenian heritage always remained 
meaningful to him. To his Armenian friends and 
family he often spoke of his desire to return to the 
old country, a wish that was never fulfilled. The 
lengthy correspondence he carried on with Vartoosh 
and her family from 1937 to 1948 reveals his longing 
for Armenia. His memories of childhood came to 
people his canvases, and the expression of his love 
for his country grew even more profound when he 
returned to nature in 1943. To der Hagopian Gorky 
said, "That which we used to have in our country, in 
Van, we weren't mature enough to fully appreciate. 
We couldn't understand everything. Now I know my 
way. Now I know where I'm standing." 8 As late as 
1946, when this conversation took place, Gorky was 
directed toward Armenia — in der Hagopian's words, 
"toward an even greater appreciation of the natural 
beauty of the old country . . . he realized fully what 
we had and what we had lost." 9 

But in 1924 thoughts of Armenia were not upper- 
most in Gorky's mind. He decided to leave the Bos- 
ton area, to move to New York to become a great 
artist. He had already taken a new name: the sur- 
name he adopted was inspired by that of the Russian 
writer Maxim Gorky. As a given name he first took 
Arshele, then Archele or Archel, finally settling on 
Arshile. 10 He liked to explain that in Russian Gorky 
means "bitterness" or "the bitter one" and Arshile, 
"Achilles." 11 Gorky was no stranger to romantic 
legend, forever telling exotic and conflicting stories 
about his origins, passing variously as Russian, 
Georgian, Armenian; speaking of himself as a rela- 
tive of Maxim Gorky and as a pupil of Kandinsky, a 
student of the Polytechnical Institute in Tifiis, a stu- 
dent at the Academie Julian in Paris or at Brown 
University, when, in fact, he was far too young to 
have undertaken such advanced studies. There exist 
a few clues about the reasons the young painter 
chose the name Gorky. The most obvious are that 
the Russian writer was known to an American audi- 
ence, that Gorky felt both alienated and estranged as 
a refugee from a country so little known and with so 
little meaning here and, wishing to be famous, 
adopted the name of a famous author, although he 
had determined to make a name for himself as an 
artist and ultimately reveal himself as an Armenian 
(a fact he confided to Vartoosh). He probably felt 
justified in taking a pseudonym because Maxim 
Gorky was itself a pseudonym, and, moreover, it was 
common for many of his colleagues to change their 
names (John Graham for one, Mark Rothko for 
another). Gorky differed from these painters in that 
he assumed the name of an artist who already existed, 
while they abbreviated or anglicized their own 



16 



names. (Marcel Duchamp went even further than 
Gorky, choosing to assume an entirely new identity, a 
disguise, in the persona of Rrose Selavy.) 

Gorky's quest for identity not only led him to 
assume a new name but to seek out a new art in New 
York. Vartoosh recalled that: "He went to New 
York because it was the center of art in America, 
even though he was not very impressed with Ameri- 
ca's art, and he felt there they might understand him 
better. Everyone was against his going except me. 
They all thought that he should work in a factory, 
that he couldn't live from art. What will you do in 
New York? No, he replied. I want to draw. And he 
left." 12 Although it is commonly believed that he 
settled in New York in a studio at 47a Washington 
Square South at the corner of Sullivan Street, he 
probably moved about at first, possibly staying with 
friends. Vartoosh, who had married in 1923, visited 
as often as she could. She said they spoke: 

About Armenia, about Van, and about art. Always 
about art . . . . At that time he was painting and 
showing me his works. "This is how I am going to 
do things, Vartoosh, and try to arrange an exhibi- 
tion." His art then was more realistic. But he 
began to change. We would go to Washington 
Square and sit together. There many children 
played, and he named one of them Uccello. "Var- 
toosh, "he said, "this one draws just like Uccello." 
And he would put a chalk in the child's hand, he 
was hardly two years old, and the child would just 
draw on the sidewalk. "These are the authentic 
artists," he told me, "who draw lines in their day 
of purity and thereby release naivety. When we try 
to do that we have a very difficult time, but for 
them it is very easy." 13 

Shortly after Gorky first moved to New York, he 
enrolled as a student in the Grand Central School of 
Art. By 1926 he had been recognized for his excep- 
tional talent and asked by the head of the school, 
Edmund Greacen, to join the faculty. An article 
published in the New York Evening Post on Septem- 
ber 15, 1926, notes that "... today he became an 
active member of the faculty of the Grand Central 
School of Art." Amusingly titled "Fetish of Antique 
Stifles Art Here, Says Gorky Kin," it is both fanciful 
about Gorky's origins and informative about his art. 
"The young Russian hears occasionally from his 
famous cousin, Maxim," is said to believe that 
America is obsessed with the antique, often at the 
expense of modern art and is quoted as follows: "in 
Paris and in Germany, a painting done this year is 
exhibited this year." The reporter describes his visit 



to Gorky's West 50th Street studio (that this studio 
existed is a little-known fact), where he saw still 
lifes, portraits and paintings and observed the artist 
working on a study of a few glass objects and fruit. 
Most important, we are informed that Gorky con- 
siders Cezanne, Matisse and Picasso the major 
painters of our time and, in fact, thinks that Cezanne 
is the greatest artist of all time. 

An inspired teacher, Gorky taught at the Grand 
Central School of Art until 1931. To supplement his 
earnings, into the early 1940s he also gave lessons in 
his studio to many private students, among them 
Ethel Schwabacher, Betty Parsons, Walter Murch 
and Hans Burkhardt. His teaching paralleled his 
own growth and development as an artist, reflecting 
a thirst for experiment and change which was all the 
more remarkable given the conservative climate of the 
period. Many of his students have spoken or written 
of his teaching. One of the most interesting accounts 
is that of Murch, as related by Daniel Robbins: 

Gorky prescribed a certain size of paper — large — 
about 14 X 18, and made everyone begin with 
lead pencil, then charcoal. Murch 's first drawing 
for Gorky, of a nude, was done in his best O.C.A. 
manner. Gorky looked at it sympathetically and 
said, "Never more draw like that." It was an 
attempt to duplicate the observed thing: Murch 
believed that the artist was supposed to be able to 
do . . . every detail, especially in pencil. But 
Gorky said, "You don't use a pencil like that!" 
Gorky explained that the medium or the artist 
must be allowed to take over . . . that the medium 
was interesting in itself, not merely a vehicle 
for something else . . . . When, at the end of the 
semester, Gorky left the Grand Central, Murch 
studied painting with him privately for about 
two years, at his studio on Washington Square 
South. They went out a lot, on ferries, up to the 
Bronx, in Central Park, around the docks. Gorky 
would look down side streets and at groups of 
rocks and trees often waving his hand and saying, 
"all wrong." He meant that the given, the ob- 
served could be wrong; he criticized views that 
were dull, or insipid. He dared to criticize nature! 
Murch thus began to learn what art was, and how 
it could be superimposed on the given ; he began 
to sense the infinite possibilities and endless rela- 
tionships between the observed, himself, and some- 
thing that Gorky was certain about: Art. 1 * 

The 1920s was not an auspicious time for the 
young and aspiring painter. During the postwar era 
the mood of the nation engendered a feeling among 



17 




Central Park, ca. late 1920s 



many artists that their occupation was utterly frivo- 
lous: to be an artist was to avoid facing the abysmal 
social and political realities of the day. Further, to 
be an abstract artist was anomalous in terms of the 
prevailing aesthetic temper in America. In may ways 
this temper coincided with the contemporaneous 
conservative retreat from abstraction and experimen- 
tation in Europe, where artists like Picasso, Braque, 
Gris, the Futurists and Matisse returned to more 
traditional modes of painting. This retrogression, 
which began in the middle of World War I, was to 
last until the middle 1920s there; in the United 
States it continued well into the 1930s. The collapse 
of the American avant-garde was not only of longer 
duration but was more complete — Americans simply 
did not have a formidable enough tradition of ad- 
vanced painting to sustain them. 

Provincialism as embodied in Regionalism, Ameri- 
can Scene Painting and Social Realism prevailed in 
the States during the 1920s and 1930s. Thomas Hart 
Benton and a number of other popular representa- 
tional painters had once embraced avant-garde art 
but renounced abstraction entirely after World War I. 
Their intense reaction was symptomatic of America's 
political, social and aesthetic conservatism, its iso- 
lationism and chauvinism, its disillusionment born 
of the war and deepened by the Depression. Even 
Georgia O'Keeffe, Marsden Hartley and Stanton 
MacDonald-Wright, who had been among the most 
advanced abstract artists in America, returned, at 
least for a time, to representation. Few artists con- 
tinued to work in vanguard modes — Arthur Dove 
and Morgan Russell from the first generation, Stuart 
Davis, the only major American to emerge during 
the twenties, and Josef Albers and Hans Hofmann, 
Europeans who came to this country in the early 
1930s. The great majority of painters, however, de- 
picted the poverty and despair of the urban masses 
or celebrated a fictional rural Utopia. Everyday rea- 
lity (or a fantasy thereof) was the accepted artistic 
subject, as painting often became topical, journa- 
listic, illustrational. 

Why Gorky rejected these conservative, insular 
models and almost from the beginning of his artistic 
development found his inspiration in sophisticated 
European painting is uncertain. When he was already 
looking toward Europe, contemporaries such as 
Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb continued to paint in 
a representational manner rooted in Social Realism 
and Expressionism, although they admired the great 
European art of the past and present as intensely as 
Gorky. It may be that Rothko and Gottlieb felt 
compelled to express their deep commitment to social 
and political issues through representational paint- 



ing, despite their love of abstraction. Gorky, on the 
other hand, participated only marginally in social 
and political causes. These speculations aside, it is 
certain that by absorbing the lessons of the most 
advanced art of the time Gorky was able to forge his 
personal style well before most of his colleagues in 
New York had begun to formulate theirown aesthet- 
ics. 

While Social Realism and Expressionism were the 
most visible and predominant influences upon the 
majority of young artists of Gorky's generation, al- 
ternatives were to some extent accessible in New 
York. If Stieglitz's gallery "291" and his magazine 
Camera Work had foundered by 1920, the forces of 
change were encouraged elsewhere. Katherine Drei- 
er's Societe Anonyme, whose motto was "Traditions 
are beautiful — but to create them — not to follow," 
had opened on April 20, 1920, at 19 East 47th Street. 
Dreier gave one-man shows (in most cases, the artist's 
first in the United States) to Kandinsky, Klee, Leger, 
Miro, Ernst, Mondrian, Malevich and others. In 
addition, Dreier and her friends sponsored lectures 
on the psychology of modern art as well as a sympo- 
sium on Dada, and published the English translation 
of Apollinaire's volume on Cubism. By mid-decade 
activity began to intensify : the first issue of Cahiers 
d'Art, with articles on Leger, Miro, Picasso and de 
Chirico, appeared in Paris in 1926, the Gallatin Col- 
lection opened in New York, the Quinn Collection 
was shown, the Montross, Daniel and Valentine 
galleries and Neumann's New Art Circle exhibited 
advanced art and, finally, The Museum of Modern 
Art opened to the public in 1929. 

Gorky's paintings of the mid to late twenties are 
dominated by Cezanne. He had the opportunity to 
see a small number of Cezannes in Boston at the 
Museum of Fine Arts and surely could have en- 
countered others in New York. At the Metropolitan 
Museum he would almost certainly have seen the 
French master's View of the Domaine Saint-Joseph, 
which had been purchased from the Armory Show 
and was on view during the twenties. Durand-Ruel, 
the Reinhardt Galleries and Wildenstein all showed 
the artist's work throughout the late 1920s. The 
opening show of The Museum of Modern Art fea- 
tured Cezanne together with Gauguin, van Gogh, 
Seurat. The Havemeyer bequest to the Metropolitan 
in 1929 contained several Cezannes. 

Gorky would have seen other Cezannes in repro- 
duction and might well have read about his work in 
essays such as William Huntington Wright's "What 
is Modern Painting," in which the artist is discussed 
at considerable length; this particular text was 
published in conjunction with The Forum Exhibition 



19 














1^^ x ^% ' Jul*'' 


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H[ T^ 




V 




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pJfV"' i &tt>TT 






* 



Paul Cezanne 

Madame Cezanne in a Red Armchair, ca. 1877 

Oil on canvas, 28 1/2 x 22" 

Collection Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 



3. Paul Cezanne 

Self- Port rait with Beret, ca. 1900 

Oil on canvas, 25 1/4 x 21" 

Collection Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 



of Modern American Painters held in March of 1916 
at the Anderson Galleries. Although there is no 
record of Gorky's attending the Art Students League, 
he frequented it. Gorky must also have known Max 
Weber and his Cezannesque paintings, since he later 
asked the older artist to recommend him for a Gug- 
genheim grant. 

Gorky owed Cezanne a profound debt: from him 
he learned concepts of space and tactility and to 
analyze nature in terms of form, structure, light. To 
fully experience Cezanne, Gorky painted still lifes, 
landscapes and portraits in the master's style, usually 
adopting a specific model or composites of several 
works he knew either in the original or in reproduc- 
tion. Gorky's Self-Portrait at the Age of Nine, ca. 1 927 
(cat. no. 8), is very similar to portraits by Cezanne 
such as Madame Cezanne in a Red Armchair , ca. 1877 
(fig. 2). In each, the shape of the face is defined by a 
few bold outlines, the forms are built up of deftly 
articulated patches of color, the features accentuated 
or de-emphasized according to their importance as 
shape and volume within the total composition. 
Gorky's self-portrait differs from Madame Cezanne 
in a Red Armchair and indeed much of Cezanne's 
oeuvre in an important respect: its aura of sadness 



and melancholy contrasts markedly with the stoic 
calm and emotional objectivity that often charac- 
terize Cezanne's work. 

A later, equally fascinating example of Gorky's 
Cezannesque portraiture is Self-Portrait of ca. 1928— 
31 (cat. no. 9). It reflects Cezanne's later, loosely- 
brushed style as epitomized in his Self-Portrait with 
Beret, ca. 1900 (fig. 3). The Gorky has quiet autho- 
rity; the gaze is commanding; the artist portrays 
himself as a somewhat romantic nineteenth-century 
figure, costumed in the manner of that time. In 
another Cezannesque Self-Portrait of ca. 1931 (cat. 
no. 13), Gorky depicts a more defiant personality, 
bohemian, collar loosened, vest unbuttoned, face 
saddened by the forces of destiny. During this period 
he turned also to Gauguin and Matisse. His Self- 
Portrait of ca. 1928-31 (cat. no. 12) seems a compo- 
site of Matisse's Self-Portrait of 1906 (fig. 4) and 
elements drawn from Gauguin's self-portraits. From 
Matisse he took pose, costume and heavy outlines, 
from Gauguin, treatment of hair and beard, a sense 
of directness and stylized background forms. Of all 
the early self-portraits, this is the most primitive 
in its impetuous brushwork, its heightened color and 
bold, staring eyes. Significantly, none of these rather 



20 




4. Henri Matisse 
Self-Portrait. 1906 
Oil on wood, 21 5/8 x 18 1/8" 
Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, J. Rump Collection 



idealized portraits resembles Gorky very closely. 
For not until he began to rely upon his personal 
memories as his primary inspiration could he reveal 
himself in his self-portraits. Thus, in the Self-Por- 
trait of 1 93 1 -33 (cat. no. 67) he discloses his true iden- 
tity by delineating his distinctive physiognomy and 
by referring to conventions of Armenian wall paint- 
ings and manuscripts, such as ornamental stylization 
of facial features and emphatic patterning of curves. 

Gorky's landscapes are among his most literal 
adaptations of Cezanne. He made no attempt to 
disguise his reliance upon the master, titling one of 
his paintings Landscape in the Manner of Cezanne. 
Other works of the mid to late 1920s, such as 
Untitled {Landscape), late 1920s (cat. no. 4). clearly 
derive from Cezanne forest paintings. The Gorkys 
lack Cezanne's pronounced vertical elements and his 
extraordinary integration of line and color. Neverthe- 
less, these early works display a directness, intensity 
and, above all, a formal awareness unusual for so 
young an artist. Gorky could not duplicate Cezanne's 
exquisite touch, his feathered brushstroke, his tenuous 
balance of bare and painted areas of canvas, his sense 
of captured light; but he understood their structural 
function and the essentialprinciplesofCezanne'sstyle. 



Gorky was at his best when he painted directly from 
nature, even as he referred to the model of Cezanne. 
Vaclav Vytlacil remembered that Gorky sometimes 
studied reproductions of Cezanne landscapes, then 
painted at the pond in the park opposite the Plaza 
Hotel and finally compared the finished product with 
the reproductions. ' 5 Landscape, Staten Island, 1 927-28 
(cat. no. 7), is one of the most successful examples of 
this genre, revealing Gorky's skills in the massing 
of shapes, use of warm earth tones, cool dark greens, 
equally cool, lighter-valued blues, some understand- 
ing of Cezanne's adroit manipulation of foreground, 
middle and background space, and an excellent grasp 
of the master's brushwork. 

It is indisputable that Gorky's evolution was un- 
even. Many of his Cezannesque still lifes of the 1920s 
and 1930s are energetic but clumsy. By far the most 
unusual of the still lifes of this category is the maca- 
bre, uncharacteristically expressionist and rather 
unresolved Still Life with Skull of the late 1920s 
(cat. no. 3), based on a number of Cezannes of the 
same subject in the Barnes Foundation and the 
National Gallery (figs. 5,6). The bulky cloth and 
skull and the dense impasto in Gorky's painting are 
very much in the manner of the French artist, but the 
relationships are confusing and the composition is a 
curious amalgam of still life and interior. The forms, 
although awkward, prefigure the curvilinear shapes 
of the later work. Moreover, certain distinctive 
colors, such as red-brown, chrome green and lav- 
ender, as well as the powerful sense of gravity 
evident here become important elements in sub- 
sequent paintings. 

Pears, Peaches and Pitcher, late 1920s (cat. no. 15), 
is as convincing a statement as an artist working in 
the style of another can produce. Far more interest- 
ing than the Cezannesque manner, however, is the 
original organization of space and form: the hori- 
zontal compartmentalization of the canvas which 
evokes the divisions of landscape, the interruption of 
these horizontal areas by the vertical of the pitcher, 
the punctuation of the surface with the forms of the 
fruit. The velvety surfaces, luminous color and rich 
facture reveal that at this imitative phase of his de- 
velopment Gorky could handle paint with extraor- 
dinary skill. When he achieved his breakthrough in 
1941-42, he recaptured in his new and personal 
language the evanescent beauty of much of the early 
work. 

Although Gorky painted his way through Ce- 
zanne, the lessons of the French master remained 
with him throughout his life to emerge once again, 
transformed, in the last great stage of his career. 
Gorky's early Cezannesque attempt to paint the 



21 



Paul Cezanne 

Young Man with a Skull. 1896-98 

Oil on canvas, 51 1/8 x 38 1/8" 

© The Barnes Foundation, Merion, 

Pennsylvania 



Paul Cezanne 

Still Life with Apples and Peaches, ca. 1905 

Oil on canvas, 32 x 39 5/8" 

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. 

Gift of Eugene and Agnes Meyer 




space in and around objects, to paint the atmos- 
phere, became crucial to his mature style. For the 
fundamentals of Cezanne's teaching are visible in 
Gorky's late work: in his return to nature and his 
re-creation of that nature into abstractions which 
embody a vivid sense of reality. 

Most critics see in Gorky's work of the 1920s and 
1930s an almost total abnegation of self, a denial 
not only of individuality but of originality. They 
see his career in two unconnected phases: a highly 
imitative period followed by a brief great original 
style. But the flowering of Gorky's genius did not 
occur as an abrupt transformation of the imitative 
into the innovative. His evolution was, rather, a 
series of sometimes faltering but ultimately progres- 
sive steps leading to an art which is a synthesis of 
the traditional and the revolutionary. Gorky did 
not believe in "originality," at least not insofar as 
the term signifies newness for its own sake. In 
these early years Gorky haunted the museums, 
seeking nourishment for his own art, proselytizing 



the great art of the past. He was an equally avid 
devotee of the most modern and the most ancient 
art. For him great art was truly timeless. Because its 
forms are constant, Gorky could draw from all 
periods, basing his painting on sources as diverse as 
Greek sculpture and Matisse in a work such as 
The Antique Cast, 1926 (cat. no. 2). (Curiously, the 
Matisse which served as model here is itself based 
on an antique sculpture.) He put himself at the ser- 
vice of the great art of the past in order to learn the 
language of art. Only after mastering this old langu- 
age did he feel he could invent a new one. His was 
not the ambition of an imitator but of an artist who 
felt he had the makings of a great painter. He would, 
by means of imitating the great painters of the past, 
ultimately rival those masters. 

If most critics did not understand why Gorky 
chose to draw from the artists of the past, his fellow 
painters were more sensitive. Stuart Davis, who, 
after his return from Europe, met the artist some- 
time in 1929, said: "I have never raised any question 



22 




about Gorky's unusual gifts as an artist, nor do I 
do so now. In the beginning he chose the strongest 
painters in modern art as the models for his deve- 
lopment. I always supported him, against the charges 
of 'imitation' that accompanied this valid process." 16 
Davis' recollections offer us an illuminating 
glimpse of Gorky's personality and daily life. He 
recalled visiting Gorky in his studio on Sullivan 
Street: 

He had many unique qualities but poverty was not 
one of them. In spite of this situation he was the 
only artist I can recall who always had a real stu- 
dio. Most, including myself painted in their bed- 
rooms or temporary makeshift quarters, in addi- 
tion, he managed to keep these studios stocked with 
a supply of art materials worthy of a small retail 
store, and used them up with abandon and un- 
concern for cost in accord with his temperament. 
The periods without paint and canvas when he 
could only draw . . . were mainly the product of 



orgies of consumption rather than a permanent 
state of attrition. In brief, he galloped around the 
Village like a mountain goat with his pauper peers 
and got off better than most. 11 

Davis and Gorky remained close friends for se- 
veral years. Together with John D. Graham (whom 
Gorky had met shortly after he moved to New 
York — the date is variously given as 1928 or 1929), 
they were often referred to as the "Three Muske- 
teers." Although Davis was ten years Gorky's senior 
and Graham was much older, their unswerving 
devotion to modern art cemented the friendship and 
gave them strength and stability during an uncer- 
tain time. 

Davis encouraged younger artists and commanded 
their respect as a painter dedicated to the most ad- 
vanced concepts when these ideas were generally 
in disrepute. Davis' longstanding commitment to 
abstraction, which dated back to the time of the 
Armory Show, was extremely meaningful to less 



23 



experienced artists in the late 1920s and early 1930s. 
Both Graham and Davis were important sources of 
intellectual support for Gorky. 

The aristocratic Graham, born Ivan Dombrovski 
in Kiev, Russia, in 1887, was the most sophisticated 
and erudite of the three. Forced to flee Russia when 
the counterrevolution failed, he came to New York 
via Warsaw in 1920, the same year Gorky arrived in 
America. By the late 1920s he had made several trips 
to Paris and had begun collecting art. He frequented 
avant-garde circles, meeting Picasso, Andre Breton, 
Andre Gide, Paul Eluard and the critic Waldemar 
George. Although a gifted painter in his own right, 
Graham was important to younger artists here for 
his firsthand knowledge of contemporary European 
art. Graham's willingness to convey this knowledge 
to his American colleagues, his ability to formulate 
current ideas into systematic theory (he published 
the provocative and influential System and Dialectics 
of Art in 1937), his extraordinary generosity and 
his encouragement of younger men like Gorky, 
Willem de Kooning, David Smith and Jackson 
Pollock made him a figure of great consequence 
in the 1920s and 1930s. During the 1930s Graham 
championed Marxism, psychoanalysis, primitive and 
abstract art. He believed in the unconscious as a 
source of creativity, in the use of accident and 
automatism in art. For Graham, Uccello was the 
next step in the evolution of the two-dimensional 
expression of Graeco-Egyptian and Byzantine art 
that culminated in Picasso. He called this two- 
dimensional expression "pure painting." Graham 
maintained that artists must evolve through three 
phases: apprenticeship to the old masters, the con- 
fusing search for one's own path and, finally, 
mature resolution. These ideas, more than Graham's 
painting, were absolutely fundamental to Gorky's 
growth throughout the thirties. 

At this time both Graham and Davis were dedi- 
cated to Picasso's Cubism. Years later when Davis 
commended Gorky for having "the intelligence and 
energy to orient himself in the direction of the most 
dynamic ideas of the time," 18 he was referring to 
Cubism. And Gorky himself exclaimed, "Has 
there been in six centuries better art than Cubism?" 19 
For as Gorky had emulated Cezanne, he turned to 
Picasso as a revered teacher and example during 
the succeeding stage in his evolution towards ma- 
turity. Gorky's need to grow, to change and ex- 
periment was manifested in a systematic absorption 
of modern painting as it unfolded chronologically 
from Cezanne to the art of his own time. Picasso 
was the inevitable next step in this progression; 
Gorky acknowledged as much when he said, "I was 



with Cezanne for a long time and now naturally I 
am with Picasso." 20 He modeled his art closely upon 
Picasso's, painting in the Spaniard's many styles, 
emulating the Blue and Rose Periods and Synthetic 
Cubism, even imitating his numerous signatures and 
their varied placement on the canvas. 

Gorky did not work through Picasso's styles in 
their actual chronological order; rather he selected 
what intrigued him or what he needed at a given 
time. For example, he painted in a Synthetic Cubist 
style before exploring collage, thus reversing the 
evolutionary order of Picasso's and Braque's own 
work. Except in a few sketches, Gorky chose not to 
emulate Analytical Cubism, the style which re- 
presents Picasso's most original and revolutionary 
contribution. In his study of Cezanne, Gorky had 
explored what might be called proto-Cubism, and 
certainly understood the impact of Cezanne's rev- 
olutionary paintings upon Picasso's own devel- 
opment. Yet neither the Analytical Cubists' ex- 
perimentation with volume, their assembling and 
reassembling of forms in space, their architectonic 
compositions nor their monochromatic color in- 
terested him. He was, however, attracted to the or- 
ganization of flat shapes on the picture plane, the 
vivid color and tactile pigment that characterized 
the succeeding phase of the style, Synthetic Cubism. 

In his still lifes of the late 1920s Gorky interpreted 
and explored the Synthetic Cubism of both Braque 
and Picasso, and to a lesser extent that of Gris. 
The original Cezannesque still-life motif now be- 
comes increasingly schematic, and the guitar from 
the standard Cubist repertory joins the fruit, pitcher 
and bottle as subjects. Gorky largely ignores the 
subject matter of the cafe and daily life: the pipes, 
dice, calling and playing cards, newspapers and let- 
tering which had so enriched the paintings and col- 
lages of Braque and Picasso. He avoids the topi- 
cality of subjects drawn from everyday reality in 
favor of more classical, timeless motifs. He sim- 
plifies and abstracts from the profusion of images 
offered by the Cubist iconography. In contrast to 
works like Pears, Peaches and Pitcher, late 1920s, 
discussed above, Composition with Vegetables, 1928, 
and Still Life, ca. 1928 (cat. nos. 21, 22), are em- 
phatically flat. Although Gorky retains the tilted 
plane of the table from his Cezannesque composi- 
tion, he now treats it differently. As it had pre- 
viously, the extremely tilted tabletop thrusts the 
objects toward the viewer. However, the table no 
longer bridges the gap between rounded objects and 
flat background, nor does it act as a foil for these 
shapes, but serves as a framing device and is one 
flat shape among many. The composition has be- 



24 



come an organization of interlocking shapes and 
abstract color patterns. As space becomes flatter and 
more compressed, Gorky's interest in tactility and 
surface effect increases as paintings such as Still Life 
with Pears, 1928, and Still Life, ca. 1928 (cat. nos. 19, 
20), reveal. He builds forward from the canvas with 
heavier impasto; he emulates Picasso's characteristic 
incised crosshatching and attempts to simulate 
materials such as chair caning and marbelized paper 
in the manner of both Picasso and Braque. 

Gorky found inspiration for the use of curved 
shape and intense color in a number of Picasso's 
boldly geometric and relatively simplified composi- 
tions such as the Synthetic Cubist Harlequin, late 
1915, and Guitar, autumn 1919 (figs. 7,8). In each of 
these paintings Picasso heightens the vividness of 
his colors by effectively contrasting them with dra- 
matic areas of black and white. Gorky either could 
not achieve or did not wish to achieve the clarity of 
Picasso's color and black and white, or the preci- 
sion with which he manipulates curve and straight 
edge. His rounded shapes and his space remain 
indeterminate, never attaining the crispness or flat- 
ness of Picasso's; his color, rich as it is, is soft, sub- 
tle, nuanced in comparison to Picasso's intense, 
sometimes harsh palette. Gorky's innately lyrical 
sensibility did not allow him to attain the dramatic 
impact of Picasso, despite his attempts at emulation. 

Still Life, 1928 (fig. 9), is a fine example of the 
Braque-like Gorkys of 1927-31. The format of the 
painting, an extended horizontal, the deep blues 
and greens of the objects and the touching of them 
with white, the layering of paint, the decorative stip- 
pling are all characteristic of the French painter. 
While Gorky was able to capture much of the spirit 
of Braque's work and certainly understood the for- 
mal aspects of his composition, he never achieved 
the Frenchman's decorative touch, exquisite scum- 
bled surfaces or sense of perfect scale. 

While it is sometimes difficult to identify the source 
of Gorky's inspiration as Picasso or Braque, Still 
Life, 1929-32 (cat. no. 23), clearly derives from the 
Spaniard's Mandolin and Music Stand of 1923 (fig. 
10). This is perhaps Gorky's most successful and in- 
teresting early adaptation of Picasso, as well as a 
key to his future development. Here Gorky has used 
many shapes identical to Picasso's own, most nota- 
bly the trefoil motif at the left. But he has trans- 
formed the guitar into a composite that is part face, 
part boot, introducing the slipper or boot motif 
which appears throughout the later work. Emotional 
tenor is transformed as well: the mundane reality 
suggested by Picasso's guitar is replaced by a power- 
ful sense of enigma which issues from the ambigu- 



ous hybrid boot-face. Cubist structure underlies 
proto-Surrealist content. 

During the late 1920s and early 1930s Gorky and 
Graham worked in similar directions. Gorky's Still 
Life with Palette and Graham's Still Life, both 1930 
(figs. 11, 12) share the Cubist vocabulary of motifs — 
the jug, the palette, the tabletop, as well as such 
Picassoesque forms as eye-like shapes, circles which 
represent holes — and techniques of execution. How- 
ever, Gorky is invariably more painterly than Gra- 
ham, his shapes are more curvilinear, his lines more 
fluid. 

Gorky intermittently explored collage beginning 
in the early thirties. Will Barnet recalled an incident 
of this time: 

. . . I made a visit to Arshile Gorky's Washing- 
ton Square studio. I knocked timidly on his door, 
and it soon opened and before me was a scene of 
great commotion. Gorky was evidently upset and I 
soon learned why; the previous evening he had 
designed a collage painting of which a part was 
composed of a piece of cheese. Gorky had gone to 
bed and in the morning awakened to find that a 
village mouse, enamored by the choice of materi- 
als used in this work had proceeded to re-design 
the canvas by eliminating the cheese. Of course 
Gorky was livid. 21 

Among the few experiments in this medium that sur- 
vive is a fascinating work of 1934-35 (cat. no. 18). 
Gorky's collage is a fairly literal adaptation of Pi- 
casso's Still Life: Bottle, Playing Cards, Glass of 
1914 (fig. 13), which he could have seen in the Gal- 
latin Collection. (Or he may have known it in re- 
production from the March 1929 issue of Creative 
Art or in the Gallatin Collection's catalogue, pub- 
lished in 1933.) To Picasso's composition Gorky 
has added the bird's head at the left, a bizarre image 
probably derived from Ernst. This and the few other 
collages extant reveal jarring and discordant juxta- 
positions of subjects which are more closely related 
to Dada than to Cubism and are unusual in Gorky's 
work at this time. Collage was a convenient and ap- 
propriate medium in which to combine images of 
different orders. Although he did not pursue his 
experiments in this medium, he continued to explore 
strange and unusual juxtapositions of images in his 
drawings of the thirties and in his paintings of the 
forties. 

Gorky reveals his subjects in a rich variety of 
guises, transforming his shapes from still-life ob- 
jects to human figures to abstract images to evo- 
cative organic hybrids. The shapes of Abstraction 



25 





7. Pablo Picasso 
Harlequin. Late 1915 

Oil on canvas, 72 1/4 x 41 3/8" 
Collection The Museum of Modern Art, 
New York, Acquired through the 
Lillie P. Bliss Bequest 

8. Pablo Picasso 
Guitar. Autumn 1919 

Oil, charcoal and pinned paper on canvas, 
85 x 31" 

Collection The Museum of Modern Art, 
New York, Gift of A. Conger Goodyear 

9. Arshile Gorky 
Still Life. 1928 

Oil on canvas, 14 1/2 x 29" 
Collection Mr. and Mrs. Chaim Gross 



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26 




10. Pablo Picasso 

Mandolin and Music Stand. 1923 
Oil on canvas, 38 1/4 x 51 1/4" 
Private Collection 






11. Arshile Gorky 

Still Life with Palette, ca. 1930 
Oil on canvas, 28 x 36" 
Whereabouts unknown 

12. John D. Graham 
Still Life. 1930 

Oil on canvas, 19 3/8 x 26" 

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 

Gift from the Estate of {Catherine S. Dreier 

13. Pablo Picasso 

Still Life: Bottle, Playing Cards, Glass. 1914 
Oil on wood, 12 3/8 x 16 7/8" 
Philadelphia Museum of Art: 
A.E. Gallatin Collection 



27 




14. Pablo Picasso 

Seated Woman. 1926-27 

Oil on canvas, 51 1/2 x 38 1/2" 

Collection Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto 



with Palette, 1930 (cat. no. 24), reappear with slight 
modifications in a lithograph of 1931 (cat. no. 25), 
in numerous drawings of the period (see cat. nos. 
36-46) and again in the painting Blue Figure in 
Chair, ca. 1931 (cat. no. 26). The recurring forms 
relate the various works, yet the two paintings, 
which reflect Gorky's interest in Synthetic Cubism, 
are linked to his past evolution, while the lithograph 
and drawings prefigure a new direction. The pro- 
totype for the blue figure is Picasso's Seated Woman 
of 1926-27 (fig. 14), a painting Gorky could have 
seen reproduced in Cahiers d'Art (no. 6, 1927). 
Both canvases bear some resemblance to Picasso's 
aforementioned Harlequin of 1915 and his Three 
Musicians of 1921 ; both are constituted of fiat, over- 
lapping shapes with contrasting curved and straight 
edges and decorative touches that suggest, among 
other objects, a harlequin's costume or balustrade. 
In the lithograph and drawings Gorky has replaced 
integrated but autonomous shapes with an overall 
pattern in which certain previously significant fea- 
tures — breast, eyes, hand, front and profile head, 
light and shadow — have become secondary, if not 




15. Pablo Picasso 

Seated Woman. 1927 

Oil on wood, 51 1/8 x 38 1/4" 

Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York; 

James Thrall Soby Bequest, 1979 

inconsequential. The looping curves that unify these 
features are much more important and emphatic 
in the small drawings than in the larger paintings, 
where they serve primarily as counterpoints to the 
predominant rectiliniarity. Mirroring Picasso's own 
redirection toward Surrealism in the 1920s, Gorky 
came to use the curve increasingly and with growing 
authority in his works on paper, most notably in 
the magnificent drawings now loosely grouped to- 
gether as the Nighttime, Enigma and Nostalgia 
series of 1931-32 (cat. nos. 36-42). In fact, Gorky's 
fluid and generous arabesques are often more grace- 
ful than those of Picasso. 

Another Picasso Seated Woman, this one of 1927 
(fig. 15), reproduced in the same issue of Cahiers 
d'Art as Seated Woman, 1926-27, moved Gorky 
deeply. The painting was shown in 1930 at The 
Museum of Modern Art in the important Painting 
in Paris exhibition, where he undoubtedly saw it. 
Peter Busa has recently said it was his friend Gorky's 
favorite painting and that when they saw it together 
in 1939 at the Modern's exhibition Forty Years of 
Picasso, Gorky "would stand in front of it for an 



28 



hour at a time." 22 Picasso simplified the complex 
curves of his earlier Seated Woman in the second 
version, and Gorky followed suit, adopting a por- 
tion of the reduced image for his similarly simplified 
work Painting, ca. 1932, and related gouaches of the 
early 1930s (cat. nos. 27, 28). Significantly, Gorky 
used Picasso's forms, often quite literally, yet he 
rejected Picasso's characteristic brutality. Picasso's 
Seated Woman is part human, part predatory ani- 
mal, part Inquisitor, part Crucifixion; her hooded, 
mask-like visage, the configuration of her nails 
generate a sense of danger typically terrifying, typi- 
cally Picasso. In Gorky's Painting, however, 
there is no violence, no brutality: the deformation 
of the woman is modified, the implicit volume of 
the figure and thus its physical presence are sup- 
pressed, the forms are flatter, simpler, clearer and, 
above all, more abstract. The immense power, the 
severity and intense drama of Picasso's art are 
absent from Gorky's oeuvre. For Gorky's sensi- 
bility is exquisite and lyrical. Despite his debt to 
Picasso, this painting is imbued with the grace, 
idealism and poetry which mark his lifelong oeuvre. 
During the early 1930s Gorky restricted himself 
almost entirely to drawing, only occasionally paint- 
ing the subjects he first explored in his works on 
paper. Why he limited himself to this medium is 
unknown; Ethel Schwabacher believes he could not 
at this time afford the extravagant amounts of paint 
and canvas of the quality he required. It is possible, 
however, that Gorky freely chose to restrict himself, 
as he did again for periods in 1943, 1944 and 1945, 
because drawing allowed him to change rapidly: it 
was his means and perhaps his impetus for change. 
Certainly, Gorky's most significant stylistic redirec- 
tions have issued from his drawing rather than from 
his painting. In December of 1935 Gorky showed 
eighteen abstract drawings at the Guild Art Gallery. 
Among them were Enigmatic Tryptich, Night Time 
Nostalgia, Composition, Detail for Mural and four- 
teen works without title. These were members of a 
rich and varied sequence of drawings, begun around 
1931, which are now loosely grouped together as 
the Nighttime, Enigma and Nostalgia series. The 
drawings shown at the Guild elicited generally fa- 
vorable reviews. Carlyle Burrows in the Herald 
Tribune cited the "intensity and clarity of effect he 
usually gains in his designs" and lauded him as "a 
skillful and ingenious pen craftsman," but noted his 
sources in Picasso, Braque and others and observed 
that it was difficult to "tell where originality begins 
and where inspiration leaves off." 23 Burrows' un- 
fortunate comments typify the insensitive reviews 
that plagued Gorky throughout his life. To be sure, 



there are references in these drawings to other 
artists (although Braque is not among them), but 
there are unique and personal characteristics Bur- 
rows failed to perceive. And these drawings mark a 
significant turning point in Gorky's development, a 
breakthrough into improvisation, a loosening of the 
rigid structure of Synthetic Cubism, a Surrealist- 
inspired turn towards darkness and dream, towards 
enigma and the nether side of reality. This new 
direction was interrupted, possibly because Gorky 
was forced by harsh economic realities to work for 
the WPA. The WPA required its artists to paint the 
American Scene, resulting in a retreat from experi- 
ment and abstract form on the part of Gorky and 
many other participants in the program. Ultimately, 
however, the resources of Surrealism were to free 
him and inspire his great personal vision. 

The Nighttime, Enigma and Nostalgia drawings 
are the first instance of a series in Gorky's oeuvre. De 
Chirico's Metaphysical Interiors may have provided 
the impetus for working in series, a practice Gorky 
continued in his Khorkom and Sochi works. Indeed, 
the use of series then became essential to him, 
providing the connective threads for most of his 
mature oeuvre. However, the Nighttime, Enigma 
and Nostalgia drawings should be considered a 
series only in the broadest sense, for they are ex- 
ceptionally varied, although loosely linked by theme 
and format. 

For the Nighttime variations Gorky drew from a 
number of artists, including, as before, Picasso, and 
new sources of inspiration such as Max Ernst, de 
Chirico, Dali and Uccello. Study for Nighttime, 
Enigma and Nostalgia, ca. 1931-32 (cat. no. 36), the 
prototype for the sequence, relates in both its form 
and content to Max Ernst's paintings One Night of 
Love, 1927, and The Kiss, 1927 (fig. 16). Gorky re- 
produces Ernst's sweeping fluid curves and suggests 
his subject, the coupling of male and female, love and 
procreation. The figures derive as well from Picasso's 
Surrealizing works of the period, such as his Cruci- 
fixion drawings (fig. 17) and illustration of the painter 
with a model knitting from Balzac's Unknown Mas- 
terpiece (fig. 18). There is about these drawings a 
dark, rich eroticism which springs from lushly tac- 
tile surfaces and almost obsessional imagery sug- 
gesting breast, phallus, seed and seductively reclin- 
ing curvilinear forms. 

From de Chirico, Gorky learned to order real 
objects in an unreal world. De Chirico had taken 
the ruler, the glove, the biscuit, the statue and or- 
ganized them in a strange new space, in a mysterious 
and dreamlike environment beyond ordinary time 
and place. The world of strictly compartmentalized 



29 



16. Max Ernst 
The Kiss. 1927 

Oil on canvas, 50 3/8 x 63" 
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, 
Venice, The Solomon R. 
Guggenheim Foundation 

17. Pablo Picasso 

Study for Crucifixion. 1927 
Whereabouts unknown 

18. Pablo Picasso 

Painter with a Model Knitting. 1927 

Etching, 7 5/8x11 3/8", 

illustration for Balzac: 

"Le Chef-d'Oeuvre Inconnu," 1931 

Collection The Museum of 

Modern Art, New York 

Gift of Henry Church 

19. Pablo Picasso 

Seated Bather. Early 1930 
Oil on canvas, 64 1/4 x 51" 
Collection The Museum of 
Modern Art, New York 
Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund 







30 



space, the silence, the dream, the lengthening sha- 
dows, the enigma and the timelessness of de Chiri- 
co's universe pervade Gorky's own metaphysical 
drawings. The source for a number of the Night- 
time drawings as well as certain specific images 
therein is a de Chirico in the Gallatin Collection 
(fig. 20), with which Gorky was undoubtedly fa- 
miliar. From this painting Gorky took the fish-like 
form and the half-lit, half-shadowed profile that 
frequent many of his compositions (fig. 21, cat. nos. 
44, 46). (The double head was, of course, also an 
image favored by Picasso and Leger.) Gorky could 
have appropriated the antique cast that inhabits a 
number of his drawings and his untitled painting of 
1936 (cat. nos. 54-57) from any one of a number of 
de Chiricos or from Picasso's Studio with Plaster 
Head of 1925 (fig. 22). Two paintings Sidney Janis 
acquired from Julien Levy in 1930, de Chirico's 
Evangelical Still Life of 1916 and Dali's Illumined 
Pleasures of 1929 (figs. 23, 24), were surely known 
to Gorky and may also have inspired him. De 
Chirico's compartmentalized space is evident in 
Nighttime, Enigma and Nostalgia of ca. 1931-32 
(cat. no. 45). Here, however, forms are set in a 
number of deeply recessed niches, while in drawings 
such as Untitled, ca. 1931 (fig. 21), and Objects, 
1932 (cat. no. 39), they are disposed across a flat, 
horizontal plane superimposed on a deep back- 
ground space. In drawings of this type, Gorky takes 
images such as the palette-pelvis and breast-like 
shapes and recombines them into a newly structured 
space. The bold shadows, the play of starkly con- 
trasting light and shade as well as positive and 
negative areas and the use of rapidly diminishing 
perspective which produces an effect of vast space 
are clearly derived from de Chirico and from Dali 
by way of de Chirico. 

Certain of the Nighttime drawings have a sculp- 
tural reality and are concerned with the play of flat 
against volumetric shapes. Their images, specifi- 
cally the pelvic shapes, relate to Picasso's bone fi- 
gures such as his Seated Bather (fig. 19) and to Arp's 
reliefs of concave and convex forms. They often 
feature reclining figures juxtaposed with a round 
form which suggest Picasso's reclining bathers with 
beach balls. Clearly, Gorky was now extremely adept 
at unifying two and three-dimensional forms into 
a powerful totality. 

When Gorky bothered to use titles in his early 
work, he usually paraphrased Picasso's very general 
titles (Composition, Painting). Exceptional are the 
evocative names he gave his Nighttime variations, 
after de Chiricos such as Nostalgia of the Infinite 
and The Enigma of a Day. Only later in the forties, 




20. Giorgio de Chirico. The Fatal Temple. 1913 
Oil on canvas, 12 3/4 X 15 1/2" 

Philadelphia Museum of Art: A.E. Gallatin Collection 

21. Arshile Gorky. Untitled, ca. 1931 
Pencil on paper, 21 1/2 x 29 7/8" 
Private Collection 

22. Pablo Picasso. Studio with Plaster Head. Summer 1925 
Oil on canvas, 38 5/8 x 51 1/8" 

Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 
Purchase 




23. Giorgio de Chirico 
Evangelical Still Life. 1916 

Oil on canvas, 31 3/4 x 28 1/8" (irregular) 

The Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection (fractional gift), 

Gift to The Museum of Modern Art, New York 

24. Salvador Dali 
Illumined Pleasures. 1 929 

Oil and collage on composition board, 9 3/8 x 13 3/4" 

The Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection 

Gift to The Museum of Modern Art, New York 



however, did Gorky become intrigued with the me- 
taphorical possibilities of titles and begin to invent 
for each canvas a unique and poetic name. 

Gorky executed the majority of his Nighttime 
drawings in pen and ink, restricting them to black 
and white, but occasionally enhancing them with 
brown ink (for example, cat. no. 41). Several others 
are executed in pencil or crayon. Some are almost 
rude, some smooth and highly finished. Forms of 
ca. 1931-32 (cat. no. 40), is one of the most spec- 
tacular examples of the period. Purchased by Kather- 
ine Dreier for the Societe Anonyme from the Guild 
exhibition of 1935, it is one of the few works Gorky 
sold in his lifetime. The drawing reveals Gorky at 
his most inventive. He works the surface of his paper 
in many ways, washing, scraping, rubbing off both 
ink and the nap of the support, producing brilliant 
tonalities from ink alone. Elsewhere he creates 
overlapping washes of ink. His use of crosshatch- 
ing, derived from Picasso, is extraordinarily varied 
and features evenly-spaced grids, free patterns, dense 
and open areas. He cultivates a dense, velvety black 
that unifies the composition and creates a sense of 
different spatial levels almost comparable to the ef- 
fect of collage. His skill recalls that of two masters 
of the medium, Max Ernst and Paul Klee, whose 
innovatory techniques supported the inventive quali- 
ties of their forms. Gorky's manipulation of positive 
and negative space, skillfull variation of texture, 
virtuoso handling of materials, exquisite adjustment 
of line in proportion to the scale of images, the 
sureness of his freehand line (he never used a ruler) 
are exceptional here. 

Two versions of Study for a Mural, ca. 1931-32 
(cat. nos. 50, 51), are conceived as a sequence of 
separate frames which unfold horizontally. The com- 
partmentalized scheme and certain forms and de- 
tails, such as a column in the center of the sequence 
and the diamond-patterned marble floor are directly 
inspired by The Miracle of the Host (fig. 25) by Uc- 
cello, an artist idolized by the Surrealists, Graham 
and Gorky. Gorky's attraction to Uccello is signi- 
ficant evidence of his brief turn towards Surrealism 
in this period. He imbues his dark and dreamlike 
Nighttime drawings with the spirit of Uccello, whom 
he called the painter of moonlight: in his abstract 
studies he evokes Uccello's airless, sealed-off spaces, 
his haunting silences, his frieze-like disposition of 
figures which seem suspended in time, his air of 
heraldry and pageant, his sense of drama and hallu- 
cination. 

Gorky's truly eclectic drawings reveal his ability 
to adapt elements from artists as disparate as Uc- 
cello, de Chirico, Ernst and Picasso and to syn- 



32 




25. Paolo Uccello The Miracle of the Host. ca. 1467-68 
Tempera, 17 x 138 1/2" 
Galleria Nazaionale del la Marche, Palazzo Ducale, Urbino 



thesize them into works that bear the stamp of his 
individual genius. A lesser artist might have become 
the mere imitator Gorky is reputed to be. But these 
drawings of the early thirties offer evidence not only 
of an enormous appetite for the art of others, but also 
of the talent to transform borrowed forms and con- 
cepts, as Picasso had done before him, into a uni- 
que personal vision. 

It would be convenient to read Gorky's development 
as a simple progression from figuration to abstrac- 
tion. This is not possible, however, for Gorky re- 
mained concerned with portraiture and naturalistic 
drawings of figures and landscapes into the 1940s. 
The dating of all his early work is problematic and 
the portraits are particularly difficult to place, be- 
cause Gorky appears to have started some in the 
1920s and continued to work on them into the 
1930s. At least one of the two versions of The Artist 
and His Mother, probably the painting now at the 
National Gallery, is known to have been in his 
studio in the early 1940s; Gorky was still working 
on it at the time of his marriage to Agnes Magruder 
in 1941. Others have been dated to the early 1920s, 
when in all probability they were executed years 
later. For example, Portrait of Vartoosh (cat. no. 66) 
is dated 1922, which seems highly unlikely as Gorky 
was only seventeen and recently arrived in America 
at the time. Moreover, in a letter of 1938 to his sister, 
he referred to a series of portraits of Vartoosh which 
he was then painting. 24 Aware of the precocity 
of Cezanne and Picasso, Gorky may have felt com- 
pelled to backdate some of his work. 

Gorky's portraits are distinguished from his other 
early work in an extremely significant respect: they 
are based primarily upon deeply personal sources — a 
photograph of his mother and himself, drawings of 
Vartoosh, his memories — rather than the images of 



other artists. To be sure, Gorky continued to seek 
certain formal solutions for his portraits in Picasso, 
Ingres and Corot, but their essential, fundamental 
inspiration is personal. The artist himself referred 
to these paintings as his "Armenian Portraits" and 
spoke of them as the beginning of his true self- 
expression. Gorky drew upon himself — his past and 
feelings — to create statements of eloquence and pas- 
sion. 

The two variants of The Artist and His Mother (cat. 
nos. 75, 76) are the first signals of Gorky's break 
with his artistic past. Although the imagery of Pi- 
casso's Blue and Rose Periods inspired a certain 
physical milieu as well as formal elements and mood, 
these are basically intensely personal visions closely 
modeled on Gorky's own photograph. For the 
first time he has overcome his need to identify 
with the great artists of the past and has engaged, 
instead, in a quest for contact with his own past and 
personal identity. The extraordinary emotional in- 
tensity and formal economy of these two canvases 
are unsurpassed in Gorky's oeuvre, save for the 
great work of the 1940s. 

Although they are the same size, the two versions 
differ in several ways. The National Gallery portrait 
adheres most closely to the photograph in details 
such as the position of the feet and the relationship 
between the boy's left arm and his mother's right 
arm; in the Whitney canvas the child draws further 
away from the mother. Of the two, the Whitney 
painting is the more finished, the figures are more 
stylized, the facial features more fully modeled, the 
spatial definition more exact. Moreover, the palettes 
of the two canvases are very different: the Washing- 
ton painting is a study in warmish roses, lavender, 
lime green, putty grey, beige, tans, reds; the Whitney 
portrait, a harmony of ochers and brown, greys, 
muted greens, peach and yellow. Yellow is one of 



33 





26. Pablo Picasso 

Self- Portrait. 1906 

Oil on canvas, 36 x 28" 

Philadelphia Museum of Art: A.E. Gallatin Collection 



27. Pablo Picasso 
Two Youths. 1905 
Oil on canvas, 59 5/8 x 36 7/8" 
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. 
Chester Dale Collection 



many colors that reminded Gorky of Armenia — 
according to Vartoosh, he wanted to paint the "yel- 
low that is produced when we cooked the roots of 
the Van dandelion." 25 Both paintings are somber 
and haunting, the subjects melancholy and intro- 
spective. 

Picasso's Self-Portrait of 1906 in the Gallatin 
Collection (fig. 26) is a prototype for The Artist and 
His Mother as well as for Gorky's Self-Portrait of ca. 
1937 (cat. no. 77). With similar economy of means 
Gorky has re-created the wide-eyed gaze and solemn 
austerity, the dreamlike melancholy, the sense of 
figures frozen in time and space characteristic of 
Picassos of around 1906. Gorky has also borrowed 
Picasso's cursory rendering of hands. However, Pi- 
casso's undefined hands are deliberately schematic 
and therefore remain consistent with the other sty- 
lized forms inhiscompositions,whileGorkydoes not 
always successfully integrate them into his paint- 
ings. He has, for example, only with great difficulty 
adapted the hand and palette motif from Picasso's 
Self-Portrait in his own Self-Portrait and the other- 



wise extraordinary Portrait of Master Bill of 1929- 
30 (cat. no. 78). Moreover, Gorky's portraits are often 
marked by other inconsistencies, undoubtedly the 
result of their intermittent execution over long 
periods of time. Thus, in the Whitney version of The 
Artist and His Mother, the faces are quite finished 
and other areas, such as the mother's apron, are 
roughly brushed. Despite this inconsistency, the 
paintings are unified through compelling imagery 
and unsurpassed use of evocative color. 

Fascinating parallels can be drawn between the 
National Gallery's The Artist and His Mother and 
Picasso's Rose Period Two Youths of 1905 (fig. 27). 
The paintings are similar in color, with the Picasso 
a more consistent tonality throughout, rather more 
earthen and a bit lighter in its range of roses and 
pinks. Gorky's palette is at once more pastel and 
more intense, as his lavender heightens the paint- 
ing's sensuous impact. The canvases are close for- 
mally as well: the linearity of the figures, their man- 
ner of juxtaposition, the use of the floor line to locate 
the figures in shallow space, the description of detail 



34 




28. Pablo Picasso 

Woman in White. 1923 

Oil on canvas, 39 x 31 1/2" 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 

Purchase, Rogers Fund 




art*** 



29. Jean Baptiste Camille Corot 
The Muse — Comedy, ca. 1865 
Oil on canvas, 18 1/8x13 7/8" 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 
Bequest of Mrs. H.O. Havemeyer, 1929 
The H.O. Havemeyer Collection 



with a few effective linear accents are comparable. 
The Artist and His Mother is, however, the more 
disquieting work: its pervasive sense of alienation 
and sadness is closer to the mood of Picasso's Blue 
Period than to the dreamy reverie of his Rose Period 
figures. 

Certain portraits, among them Portrait of Var- 
toosh, with their bluish-green cast and almost ghostly 
presence are reminiscent of the wan and sickly sub- 
jects of Picasso's Blue Period. Still others, for ex- 
ample, the charming small Seated Woman with Vase, 
mid- 1930s (cat. no. 62), relate to neoclassic paint- 
ings such as Picasso's Woman in White of 1923 (fig. 
28) and Corot's Sibylle and The Muse — Comedy (fig. 
29); indeed, they belong to a succession of neoclassic 
figures which begin with Ingres and evolve through 
Corot and Picasso to de Kooning and Graham. 

Gorky's "Armenian Portraits" are related to pro- 
totypes in Armenian manuscript illumination as 
well as to models of Western European portraiture. 
Specific parallels may be drawn between the dis- 
tinctive almond-shaped eyes, the solemnity, dignity 



and frontality of many of Gorky's subjects and the 
figures of Near Eastern manuscripts. Hieratic stance 
and intensity of gaze lend religious overtones to 
certain portraits. These overtones are enhanced in 
The Artist and His Mother by the architectural back- 
ground which recalls the settings of Renaissance An- 
nunciations. The versions of The Artist and His 
Mother are at once contemporary portraits, ima- 
ginative interpretations of a photograph and original 
conceptions which refer to Ingres and Picasso and 
resonate with the sense of religious icons. 

Gorky's friends have described his technique of 
scraping painted surfaces with a razor blade or 
sandpaper and repainting them to produce a smooth, 
porcelain-like surface. This opalescent, reflective 
finish clearly derives from Ingres, whom Gorky re- 
vered. In combination with the soft, evanescent co- 
lors of the portraits, it creates a spectacular effect of 
unreal light. But Gorky looked to Ingres for much 
more than finish. Ingres' consummate draftsmanship, 
his exquisite contours, his delicate and precise line 
moved and inspired him. In Ingres, as in Cezanne 



35 





30. Willem de Kooning. Two Men Standing, ca. 1938 
Oil on canvas, 61 1/8 x 45 1/8". Private Collection 

31. John D. Graham. Kali Yuga. ca. 1952 

Oil, casein, chalk and ballpoint pen on cardboard 

25 x 20 3/4" Collection Whitney Museum of American 

Art, New York; Promised gift of Richard S. Zeisler 



and Picasso, he sought the purely formal relation- 
ships underlying representational imagery. The tran- 
sition from the fully-modeled head to two-dimen- 
sional picture plane by means of the curved line and 
flattened surface of the arm is less explicit in Ingres 
than in Cezanne and Picasso, but no less compelling 
for Gorky. 

Like Gorky, Graham and de Kooning admired 
the women of Ingres. Both interpreted Ingres' vision 
through Gorky's eyes in portraits of the thirties and 
forties. Portrait of Master Bill and The Artist and His 
Mother prefigure a number of de Koonings, includ- 
ing Two Men Standing, ca. 1938 (fig. 30), and Grahams 
such as Kali Yuga, ca. 1952 (fig. 31). They, as Gorky 
had done before them, emulated Ingres' con- 
tours and surface finish and adapted his synthesis 
of volumetric and flat form. Both employ the com- 
pelling gaze and sense of remoteness first encoun- 
tered in Gorky's portraits. De Kooning, like Gorky, 
worked from real subjects to produce portraits which 
seem part real, part imaginary. As Gorky painted a 
Portrait of Myself and My Imaginary Wife, mid to 
late 1930s (cat. no. 65), so de Kooning executed a 
drawing entitled Portrait of Myself and My Ima- 
ginary Brother, ca. 1938 (which is remarkably si- 
milar in composition to The Artist and His Mother). 
De Kooning's works are more direct and brutal, 
however; their agitation and roughness contrast 
with the monumental calm and stability of Gorky's 
portraits. Graham's obsessive, cryptic symbols place 
his subjects in the realm of mysticism and the occult. 
His figures, unlike Gorky's, are not portraits but 
embodiments of a strange and mysterious order. 

A number of Gorky's portraits and line drawings 
of the mid-thirties (for example, cat. no. 60) are 
extraordinarily close to Matisse's drawings around 
the same period. Gorky appears to have looked at 
Matisse intermittently throughout his life, occasion- 
ally emulating specific paintings by the master, such 
as Self-Portrait , 1906, Still Life with a Greek Torso, 
1908, and Girl with Green Eyes, 1909. In addition, 
traces of the French artist's felicitous line and 
heightened color sometimes appear in his work. He 
is unable to capture the fluidity of Matisse's line, 
however, and does not seem particularly interested 
in his flat shapes, broad flat areas of color, de- 
corative patterns and sculptural form. Above all, 
the order and harmony which inform Matisse's art 
are conspicuously absent from Gorky's work. Yet 
he was attracted to Matisse's meandering line, exotic 
color and orientalism, which he was able to exploit 
fully only in his mature painting, once he was free 
of the restraints of architectonic form. 

During the early 1930s Gorky moved from Green- 



36 



wich Village to 36 Union Square. Ethel Schwabacher 
described Gorky and his studio at this time: 

[He scrubbed] the floor weekly so that it finally 
had the bleached tone of driftwood; the large 
palette on the table, under the frosted slanting 
window, was left in just the state of lowlustered 
sheen he liked best. There was nothing haphazard 
about the piles of left-over or unused paint ; there 
was no bit of material that he was indifferent to; 
the brushes, of which he had great quantities, 
bristle, camel's hair, of various sizes, round, flat, 
worn or new, were washed with soap and water 
after work; there were bottles of ink, pens, quill 
pens, crayons in profusion; a Greek head and 
hand, a porcelain fruit dish, a vase or so, stood or 
lay about; also a few art books, an old small 
phonograph and a half-dozen records of Russian 
songs. And on the wall, where he would certainly 
have liked to hang the paintings of his choice, 
were the nearest substitute he could afford — life- 
size photographs of the works of Uccello and 
Ingres. 

The great excitement of 36 Union Square lay in 
the feeling it evoked of work done there ; work in 
progress day and night, through long years of pas- 
sionate, disciplined and educated effort . Gorky took 
pride in the massive pile of his work. Some two 
hundred of his paintings were carefully stacked, 
stretcher against stretcher, in a separate room off 
the foyer used only for storage. He knew where 
each painting was and could find any given one 
when he wanted to revise it, as he so often did; 
or to use some detail in a new effort to solve some 
problem, whether of this year or fifteen years 
earlier, that in the actual moment was absorbing 
his attention. 26 

On December 20, 1933, in the depths of the De- 
pression, Gorky joined the Public Works of Art 
Project (PWAP), a government program funded by 
Harry Hopkins' Civil Works Administration. This 
was a short-term project designed to help indigent 
artists through the winter 1933-34. In New York 
the PWAP employed some eight hundred artists 
who produced close to four hundred designs for 
murals. Few of the designs were executed under the 
aegis of this program, however: the majority were 
transferred to a project supported by the College 
Art Association in New York with funds supplied 
by the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration 
between June 1934 and August 1935. Many of these 
designs were developed into the earliest murals 
painted for the Works Progress Administration's 



Federal Art Projects (WPA/FAP). Gorky submitted 
to the PWAP a proposal for a mural, the sketch for 
which was to measure thirty by one hundred and 
twenty-three inches and to be executed in pen and 
ink. In his letters to Vartoosh, Gorky criticized 
America's industrial society, its worship of material 
objects and emphasis on technology. Because the 
WPA required that all subjects be related to the 
American Scene, however, he was now forced to 
treat urban and industrial themes in his work. Gorky 
described his proposal as follows: 

My subject matter is directional. American plains 
are horizontal. New York City which I live in is 
vertical. In the middle of my picture stands a 
column which symbolizes the determination of the 
American nation. Various abstract scenes take 
place in the back of this column. 

My intention is to create objectivity of the articles 
which I have detached from their habitual sur- 
roundings to be able to give them the highest re- 
alism} 1 

Gorky was dropped from the project on April 29, 
1934, and was not transferred to the payroll of the 
Temporary Emergency Relief Administration. He 
then subsisted on the meager earnings from his 
teaching and the sale of a few works until he received 
home relief from the Emergency Relief Bureau in 
July 1935. 

In August 1935 Gorky was hired by the Works 
Progress Administration/Federal Art Project. Be- 
tween that August and July 1937 he executed 
a monumental series of murals. Titled Aviation: 
Evolution of Forms Under Aerodynamic Limitations, 
the enormous project, consisting of ten huge panels 
(all but two of them [cat. nos. 87, 88] destroyed 
by the military during World War II), covered 
1,500 square feet. Initially intended for Floyd 
Bennett Field, the series was to include photomurals 
by Wyatt Davis (the brother of Stuart Davis) and 
murals which incorporated photographs by Davis 
and paintings by Gorky. At some point, the idea of 
using photographs was abandoned, and the destina- 
tion of the murals was changed to the Newark 
Airport Administration Building. 

Gorky wrote about his conception of mural art 
in a commentary intended for publication in Art 
for the Millions: 

I am definitely opposed to the interior decorator's 
taste in mural painting which seems to be that 
everything must "match." Mural painting should 
not become part of the wall, because the moment 



37 



this occurs the painting loses its identity. 

In these times, it is of sociological importance that 
everything should stand on its own merit, always 
keeping its individuality. I much prefer that the 
mural fall out of the wall than harmonize with it. 

Mural painting should not become architecture. 
Naturally, it has its own architecture and limits of 
space, but should never be confused with walls, 
windows, doors, or any other anatomical blue- 
prints^ 

In order to prevent his murals from losing their 
identity and merging with the wall, Gorky rejected 
the fresco technique and, like over sixty percent of 
his WPA colleagues, executed his panels in oil on 
canvas. Gorky's close friend Frederick Kiesler has 
noted also that the artist probably chose to work in 
this medium because of "lack of material, the lack 
of proper wall preparation, the shortness of time, or 
the necessity for a 'mobile,' mural painting due to 
short-lived building structures as a whole. . . ." 29 
He remarked that "Gorky tried to invent a new oil 
paint technique for this departure from common 
mural treatment. He uses oil paint in an outflat- 
tened, equalizing cover, paralleling in this manner 
the super individual objective expression of the 
room-enclosing surface." 30 

Gorky's first gouaches for the murals (cat. nos. 
83, 86) reveal that he relied heavily upon Wyatt 
Davis' pictures as well as those of Leo Seltzer, ano- 
ther photographer who worked under the WPA. 
Nevertheless, the panels are linked stylistically with 
the paintings and drawings that directly preceded 
them (see, for example, Abstraction with Palette, 
1930 [cat. no. 24]). Whereas Gorky had not pur- 
sued his early experiments with Cubist collage, in 
these murals he approximates a form of collage 
inspired by the principles of photomontage. (He and 
Wyatt Davis actually executed a collage study for 
the murals.) Doubtless, the juxtaposition of dis- 
parate images in the panels derives from these ex- 
plorations. The urban, technological theme of the 
murals moved Gorky to search for appropriate new 
models. He turned to Stuart Davis' Egg Beater 
paintings and gouaches and his related works of the 
late twenties as well as Amedee Ozenfant's Purist 
still lifes. (Ozenfant was living in New York at this 
time and Gorky is known to have visited his studio.) 
In Davis' work Gorky found sharp edges, smooth 
surfaces and bright color; in Ozenfant's paintings 
he saw matte finish, soft, chalky hues and precise 
form. But, above all, it is the Cubism of Leger, 
specifically the images of The City, 1919, which 



engaged Gorky. For Gorky found that Leger's ur- 
ban imagery, his machine forms, his bright and vivid 
colors — red, blue, yellow, black, grey, brown — were 
particularly appropriate to express the spirit of avia- 
tion. Although Gorky uses flat shapes together with 
modeled forms in the manner of Leger and combines 
illusions of deep recession and shallow space, the 
overwhelming effect of the panels is of intense com- 
pression and flatness: two-dimensional shape and 
vivid color are paramount. 

It is perhaps unfair to assess the two extant murals 
away from the site for which they were intended and 
out of the context of their destroyed companions, 
for their cumulative effect cannot now be measured. 
On their own, however, the remaining panels seem 
ungainly, lacking Gorky's characteristic grace as 
well as the power and energy of Leger's masterful 
evocations of the machine age. The preparatory 
gouaches are another matter altogether; their jewel- 
like perfection indicates that Gorky was far more 
comfortable working in the very small scale of stud- 
ies or in easel scale, rather than on monumental 
murals. 

The murals were far too abstract for their audience 
and met with only reluctant official acceptance. In 
fact, the committee charged with approving the pa- 
nels tried unsuccessfully to find an excuse to reject 
them. Stuart Davis described this effort: 

There was nothing to it after the first broadside 
fired by our oratorical professors, Doctors and 
Experts. One of the locals quickly joined our side, 
and the rout was complete. But their unhorsed 
chairman made a final convulsive effort by whistl- 
ing for an air ace pilot who charged into the room. 
"Tell these Yankees what you think of these so- 
called modernistic murals, " the chairman gasped. 
The ace surveyed the huge pieces of canvas. . . . 
But the chairman's ace-in-the-hole , blasted his 
last hope by saying he didn 't know nothin ' about 
art but thought they were right pretty. He said he 
was reminded of wonderful things he had seen, and 
began to recite recollections of beautiful cloud 
formations observed on his numerous flights. . . . 
An official surrender was signed, and our cavalcade 
sped back victorious to the taverns of New York 
to celebrate. 31 

The WPA engendered a sense of community among 
artists who had formerly been isolated. Abysmal 
conditions impelled these artists to band together 
into protective associations. Davis and many other 
painters of Gorky's generation were deeply involved 
with radical politics and artists' groups. Although 



38 




Gorky and de Kooning with Organization, ca. 1934 





At work on Organization in 36 Union Square Studio, 1934-35 



Gorky participated initially in the Artists' Union, 
he was unwilling to allow political activity to en- 
croach upon his life as an artist. Davis, angered by 
what he considered Gorky's frivolous attitude, ter- 
minated their friendship in 1934. Gorky disdained 
to make what he termed "poor art for poor people" 
and was, above all, committed to the act of paint- 
ing and producing art of the highest quality. As 
Balcomb Greene has pointed out, he refused to ca- 
pitalize upon the power to be derived from a group 
activity. 32 He attended the first meeting of the 
American Abstract Artists, but would not join be- 
cause the group refused to confine its discussions to 
aesthetic issues and sought instead to become a 
weapon for reform of the art world. Despite his so- 
ciability and his occasional forays into group acti- 
vities, Gorky remained an outsider and alone. 

Gorky was on the WPA/FAP payroll through 
1941. Although the sums allotted to participants in 
the Easel and Mural Divisions were meager, these 
funds, which were supplied with dependable re- 
gularity, together with proceeds from occasional 
sales, allowed artists like Gorky to subsist. It is 
difficult to imagine how the painters who became 
known as the New York School could have survived 
the 1930s without government assistance. Gorky 
himself was able to continue with his own painting 
while working on the Newark murals — sympathetic 
officials apparently did not insist that artists work 
exclusively on government projects. Yet Gorky spoke 
of the period with despair. According to his widow 
Agnes: 

Gorky described it as the bleakest, most spirit- 
crushing period of his life and spoke with bitterness 
of the futility of such paralyzing poverty for the 
artist. Towards the end of the 30's, he felt a ter- 
rible isolation which no amount of subsequent 
friendliness on the part of the surrealists or anyone 
else could eradicate. He often said that, if a hu- 
man being managed to emerge from such a period, 
it could not be as a whole man and that there was 
no recovery from the blows and wounds of such a 
struggle to survive." 

During this prolonged struggle, Gorky still man- 
aged to put painting ahead of all else, often going 
without food to buy materials. At this time he made 
his paintings as physical as possible, building out 
from the canvas with a heavy, textured impasto. He 
followed Graham's theories about the "absolutely 
spontaneous and final" nature of edges and the 
visibility of the artist's touch. Several of Gorky's 
friends have commented upon his technique. Stuart 



Davis remarked : 

He would squeeze out a half-dozen tubes of each 
color he used in great piles on several palettes. 
These were left standing around for a certain num- 
ber of days to acquire a viscous consistency. When 
ready to paint, he transferred this small fortune in 
pigment to one or more canvases with palette 
knives in a heat of creative excitement. But as his 
percentage of hits and misses was no better than 
average, he would often scrape it all off the next 
day and start again with a new batch of colors. 
Where the initial painting escaped this fate and was 
continued day by day to completion, the weight of 
the canvas increased proportionately. The finished 
product had an astounding weight. Persons unin- 
formed about this would innocently approach a 
canvas to heft it at his invitation. Members of 
the weaker sex and anemic men would retreat 
from the dangerous experience with minor but 
none the less painful sprains and bruises. A 
standing joke around the Gorky studio, this never 
failed to get a laugh?* 

And Balcomb Greene, Gorky's neighbor at Union 
Square, spoke of the artist's adamant attitude about 
technique and materials: 

When friends protested to him that his half-inch 
masses of pigment would some day crack, he 
denied this. He insisted, against all authorities, 
that pure zinc white was more permanent than 
any titanium or lithapone product. When the 
evidence seemed against him, he undertook to 
grind and prepare his own paints, with the aid of 
a machine built for him by Giorgio Cavallon. It 
was necessary that his paintings be laboriously 
made. The issue about physical permanence, 
which he kept undecided, surely was related to the 
pain which he nursed and of which he spoke so 
often to those who knew him. His acceptance of 
technical hazard, I believe, was an attitude which 
could extend immortality to him proportionately 
as he deserved it. The pain may at some time have 
seemed to him partial evidence of his ability. 
Sure of this, he could let himself go into a kind of 
automatism, and I believe it is from these works, 
his very worst, that the lyricist will emerge." 

Concurrent with the production of the Newark 
murals, he executed a number of paintings based 
on Picasso's studio interiors of 1927-28. Composi- 
tion with Head of ca. 1934-36 (cat. no. 79), is clearly 
modeled after Picasso's The Studio of 1927-28 (fig. 



41 




32. Pablo Picasso 

The Studio. 1927-28 

Oil on canvas, 59 x 91" 

Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York 

Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. 

32), which he could have seen at the Valentine Gal- 
lery, and Painter and Model of 1928 (fig. 33), in the 
collection of Sidney Janis. Gorky has paraphrased 
Picasso's spare geometry, using similar triangular 
shapes, rectangles for window frames and circles 
for breasts. He repeats the Spanish artist's combina- 
tion of female and male sexual attributes in a single 
figure and adopts his color scheme of grey and yel- 
low with accents of red, blue and green. However, 
Gorky rejects Picasso's effects of transparency in 
favor of his habitual preference for heavily layered 
paint. He also ignores Picasso's use of trapezoidal 
shapes and intersecting diagonals to suggest spatial 
recession: as in the past, Gorky's painting remains 
resolutely flat. 

Organization of ca. 1936 (cat. no. 81) follows even 
more closely Picasso's example — yet, unlike Compo- 
sition with Head, which retains the overlapping and 
interlocking forms of Synthetic Cubism, it hints at 
a new openness. This openness is evoked by the 
areas of white which suggest expansion and the 
separation rather than the overlapping of forms. The 
punctuation of the surface with widely dispersed 
forms of varied shape, size and color are the first 
instance of what Gorky would later call "spotting." 
And, despite the presence of biomorphic forms, 
there is a far greater emphasis upon geometric struc- 
ture than previously encountered in Gorky's work. 
The dynamism of the composition is carried by its 
asymmetrical arrangement, a type of equilibrium 
Gorky undoubtedly saw in Mondrian. However, the 
enclosing outlines and heavily impastoed surfaces 
tend to contradict the flow of movement. Gorky's 
interest in rigorous geometry was short-lived, for 




33. Pablo Picasso 

Painter and Model. 1928 

Oil on canvas, 51 1/8 x 64 1/4" 

The Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection (fractional 

gift), Gift to The Museum of Modern Art, New York 

he soon turned towards freer expression and more 
fluid organic form. 

Crucial to the evolution of this new direction 
was the influence of Surrealism, which ultimately 
liberated him from his past and allowed him to crys- 
tallize his great, original vision. Surrealism, which 
had been lauched officially in 1924 with the publi- 
cation of Andre Breton's first Surrealist Manifesto, 
exploited the bizarre, the irrational, the accidental 
in an assault on the formal and rational order of 
Cubism. This order the Surrealists felt to be a major 
barrier to the expression of the unconscious, which 
they were convinced was the essential source of art 
and life. Thus, the Surrealists set out to explore the 
hidden recesses of the unconscious mind : its dreams, 
its spontaneous workings. Breton stated his belief 
in the ultimate unification of two seemingly con- 
tradictory states, the dream and reality, into one 
reality called "surreality." To rid the mind of pre- 
conceived ideas, to free words from their accustomed 
contexts, to renovate poetic imagery, the Surrealist 
poets and painters employed illogical, always sur- 
prising and often shocking associations of words 
and images. 

Automatism and the estrangement of the object 
from its normal context became basic techniques of 
Surrealism. Objects that formerly belonged to se- 
parate spatial and conceptual planes were placed in 
unexpected juxtaposition. In the researches of Freud 
and his explorations of the subconscious, the Sur- 
realists discovered ideal tools for their own experi- 
ments; out of his theories they developed the techni- 
que of automatism, which they applied to both 
painting and poetry, creating automatic texts and 



42 



drawings. The purpose of automatism was to free 
art of conscious control and to liberate the ima- 
gination. In 1924 Breton had defined Surrealism as: 

SURREALISM noun, masculine. Pure psychic 
automatism by which one intends to express ver- 
bally, in writing or by other method, the real func- 
tioning of the mind. Dictation by thought, in the 
absence of any control exercised by reason, and 
beyond any esthetic or oral preoccupation. 

ENCYL Philos. Surrealism is based on the belief 
in the superior reality of certain forms of associa- 
tion heretofore neglected, in the omnipotence of 
dreams, in the undirected play of thought. . . . 

The growing influence of Surrealism upon Gorky 
is dramatically revealed in the Khorkom drawings 
and paintings. This series, based upon Gorky's 
memories of Armenia, is rooted in the art of the 
Surrealist Andre Masson. Masson's work was readily 
accessible to Gorky: examples of it were repro- 
duced in Cahiers d'Art in 1929 and 1931, in Transi- 
tion in 1930; his Cock Fight, 1930 (fig. 34), was on 
view in the Gallatin Collection, and the artist was 
included in important group shows such as Newer 
Super- Realism at the Wadsworth Atheneum in 1931 
and presented in a major one-man exhibition at the 
Pierre Matisse Gallery in 1933. Gorky bases his 
biomorphic forms in both the drawings and paint- 
ings upon Masson's characteristic heart and kidney 
shapes, and appropriates as well the French artist's 
cursory and spontaneous calligraphy, whipping line 
divorced from form and his sense of weightlessness. 
Gorky's seemingly spontaneous calligraphy is parti- 




34. Andre Masson 
Cock Fight. 1930 
Oil on canvas, 8 1/2 x 10 1/4" 
Philadelphia Museum of Art: A.E. Gallatin Collection 



cularly significant here, for improvisation, as we 
have seen, is a fundamental premise of Surrealism. 
Masson's part-animal, part-abstract creatures which 
seem to do battle in nature foreshadow Gorky's 
own hybrids. Thus, the wedding of discrete form 
and meandering line, prefigured in the Nighttime, 
Enigma and Nostalgia drawings, reemerges empha- 
tically in the Khorkom variations. Close as the 
Khorkom works are to their prototypes, Gorky's 
individual sense of form, his fluidity of line set them 
apart: his feeling for overall composition, for the 
grouping of forms, for rhythm and harmony, no- 
where more evident than in the superb drawings of 
this sequence, is far superior to that of Masson. 

The Khorkom paintings are not nearly as im- 
provisational as the studies — Gorky continues to be 
preoccupied with heavily built-up paint surfaces, 
and tactility and texture still dominate shape and 
space. Nonetheless, in these canvases there is a new 
freedom of structure and color, an uncharacteristic 
element of playfulness and whimsy which are stri- 
kingly apparent in comparison to the paintings based 
on Picasso's studio interiors which immediately pre- 
ceded them. 

The reduced palette of primaries and complimen- 
taries, the clear and separate identities of form, line, 
plane and color, the grid structure of the studio in- 
teriors have disappeared from the Khorkom can- 
vases. Instead the discrete but intertwined forms and 
the play of positive and negative space announced in 
the Nighttime and Khorkom drawings are embodied 
in vivid reds, oranges, yellows, greens, lavenders, 
browns, greys and strong value contrasts, bright and 
dark shapes set off by light or white images or 
fields. In Image in Xhorkom, 1934-36 (cat. no. 99), 
forms flow within the shallow space of the picture 
field; in place of a grid, Gorky suppresses the activity 
of these forms with an allover pattern of convex and 
concave shapes and a heavy blanket of gestural 
strokes and surface texture. Here there is an even 
greater conflict between fluid form and heavy facture 
and outline than in Organization. Despite their mo- 
bility, these shapes are ultimately as stable as the 
static geometric figures of Organization. 

Image in Xhorkom is a study in equivocal imagery: 
like Masson Gorky has created a series of hybrid 
images which are basically abstract but allude to 
human or animal forms. What seem to be birds, 
breasts, eyes, hearts (symbols which become central 
to the mature work) imbue the composition with 
erotic overtones and are rendered more ambiguous 
in the context of entirely non-representational 
shapes. Meaning is even further diffused in Image in 
Xhorkom Summer, 1936, and in Xhorkom, 1936 (cat. 



43 



ftZZV;^ 




35. Pablo Picasso 

Women Playing at the Edge of the Sea. Paris, 
November 25, 1932. India ink, 9 7/8x13 3/4" 
Collection Mr. and Mrs. Victor W. Ganz, New York 

no. 100), where the images are more nearly abstract. 
The sense in these and subsequent paintings is of a 
new family of forms — animate, organic, enigmatic. 

Of the three Khorkom canvases, Image in Xhor- 
kom is the least disciplined and resolved. Figure and 
ground, foreground and background planes are 
far more successfully integrated in Image in Xhorkom 
Summer. Because forms are more widely dispersed 
here, lateral spread rather than recession into depth 
is stressed. In the later Xhorkom, Gorky brings the 
background plane even further forward and en- 
hances its physical presence and autonomy — by 
reducing the size of the images in relation to the 
field, by lightening the color of the field and empha- 
sizing its tactility. The distinction between figure and 
field is therefore blurred. He was in the next years to 
cultivate this ambiguity to achieve a great break- 
through: the unification of foreground and back- 
ground leading to the ultimate submerging of the 
image into the field. 

Gorky's experimentation with accident in Image 
in Xhorkom — he enlivens its surface with a small 
number of drips — is significant in terms of the later 
work. The Dada artists had introduced the element 
of chance into art, the Surrealists, among them Miro, 
had expanded its role and Picasso had dripped paint 
in his own Surrealist-inspired canvases of the 1930s. 
Gorky, of course, knew these works and was clearly 
aware of the potential uses of accident. However, 
in this period he experimented with chance effects 
only rarely, no doubt because they are out of keeping 
with the heavily-built up and relatively static surfaces 
he still favored. Not until the 1940s, when he loosened 
and lightened his surface treatment, would random 
effects play a vital role in his art. 

Significantly, these are the first abstractions in 



which Gorky makes specific reference to his Armenian 
origins. For from this time forward, the twin threads 
of memory and Surrealism begin to run through his 
art. Gorky was to intertwine these threads in a 
letter of 1942 to Vartoosh evoking the images of the 
Khorkom sequence as well as those which emerge in 
the Sochi paintings: 

Sweet Vartoosh, loving memories of our garden in 
Armenia's Khorkom haunt me frequently. Recall 
Father's garden down the path from our house and 
the Tree of the Cross upon which the authentic 
Armenian villagers attached the colorful pennants 
of their clothing. Within our garden could be 
found the glorious and living panoply of Armenian 
nature, so unknown to all yet so in need of being 
known. Beloved sister, in my art I often draw our 
garden and recreate its precious greenery and life. 
Can a son forget the soil which sires him ? 

Beloveds, the stuff of thought is the seed of the ar- 
tist. Dreams form the bristles of the artist's brush. 
And as the eye functions as the brain's sentry, I 
communicate my most private perceptions through 
art, my view of the world. In trying to probe be- 
yond the ordinary and the known, I create an inner 
infinity. I probe within the confines of the finite 
to create an infinity. Liver. Bones. Living rocks 
and living plants and animals. Living dreams. Var- 
toosh dearest, to this I owe my debt to our Ar- 
menian art. Its hybrids, its many opposites. The 
inventions of our folk imagination. These I at- 
tempt to capture directly, I mean the folklore and 
physical beauty of our homeland, in my works} 6 

In a letter of 1943 Gorky describes the beautiful 
Armenian slippers that he and his father used to 
wear and his mother's butterchurn, "that pearl in 
the crown of our hard-working village women." 37 
Such imagery might have been the basis for literal 
paintings; but through the medium of Surrealism, 
Gorky was able to transform his private memories 
of homeland into visions of poetic fantasy. 

Shortly after the inception of the Khorkom series, 
Gorky began a group of paintings based upon Pi- 
casso's Surrealist-inspired works. They evolved from 
drawings related to the Nighttime, Enigma and 
Nostalgia variations. Like several other Gorky 
drawings of the period, they seem to have been directly 
inspired by Picasso's Women Playing at the Edge of 
the Sea (fig. 35). This drawing, whose playful figures 
have evolved into hybrid plants and animals, is unique 
in Picasso's oeuvre, where women are usually altered 
but not transformed. Gorky borrows these fanciful 
creatures, reshaping them somewhat, for his studies 



44 



(cat. nos. 96, 98) for Painting of 1936-37 (cat. no. 102), 
the best-known canvas of the series. He also adapts 
Picasso's random scrawl, his incisive crosshatching 
and his wonderfully ebullient spirit. This spirit, rare 
in Picasso's own work, Gorky was not yet able to 
capture in his painting. Just as the Khorkom draw- 
ings are freer than the paintings they precede, so 
these studies are far less inhibited than the canvases 
which issue from them. In fact, the difference in 
degree of spontaneity is even more marked in this 
instance, for Gorky reverts in the present paintings 
to certain ideas he had assimilated from Picasso's 
studio interiors. In Painting, for example, he relies 
on a semblance of rectilinear structure similar to 
that in Organization, incorporating a few crucial 
intersecting verticals and horizontals to anchor his 
free-floating biomorphic forms. In comparison to 
the Khorkom variants, Painting is relatively static 
and represents a synthesis of earlier experiments 
rather than a break with the past. 

In Enigmatic Combat of ca. 1936-37 (cat. no. 104) 
Gorky expresses his appreciation of Picasso with 
new intensity. He models the painting after Girl 
Before a Mirror of 1932 (fig. 36), referring to the 
double head, disconnected anatomical parts, sweep- 
ing arabesques, whiplash curves and heavy impasto 
which characterize Picasso's work of the early thirties 
in general and this canvas in particular. Gorky ap- 
propriates as well the master's "cloisonne Cubism" 
of heavy black outlines and stained-glass color and 
he even emulates his retracing of black outline with 
white. Although he has adopted these formal devices, 
he rejects the painting's explicit Vanity theme. 
Moreover, he does not bisect the canvas into two 
vertical compartments or portray forms as if they 
were in front of a background. Instead, inspired by 
Masson, he atomizes his figure and begins to syn- 
thesize its parts into a more fully unified entity. The 
ground is as important and palpable as the figures; 
these figures become extremely difficult to read, so 
intertwined are they with the ground. Although 
Gorky still provides some suggestions of three-di- 
mensional space, he has created a far more abstract 
composition than Picasso's, one which foreshadows 
his canvases of the 1940s. 

Gorky's paintings of the thirties are airless spaces 
in which increasingly mobile, ever more fanciful 
organic forms begin to undermine Cubist-derived 
structure. The sense of forms inhabiting real space 
diminishes as Gorky works with a new freedom and 
impulsiveness. Line, which had formerly defined 
form and structure, becomes wayward, labyrinthean. 
More impetuous brushwork and vivid color ani- 
mate highly tactile, heavily impastoed surfaces. Form 




36. Pablo Picasso 

Girl Before a Mirror. 1932 

Oil on canvas, 64 x 51 1/4" 

Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York 

Gift of Mrs. Simon Guggenheim 

is no longer contained by line, and brushstroke alone 
creates shape. Paint takes on an independent life. 
Gorky is about to liberate himself from his past; 
he is on the threshold of his personal vision. 

Gorky continued to seek inspiration from Picasso 
in this period, as reflected in such outstanding paint- 
ings as Abstraction of ca. 1936, Portrait of 1936-38 
and Grey Painting of 1937 (cat. nos. 90, 89, 103). 
Yet a new and decisive influence, that of Miro, now 
began to inform his work. More than any other 
single artist, Miro at last freed him from the re- 
straints of Cubism. Undoubtedly, Gorky felt a kin- 
ship with Miro on various levels: Miro's art owed 
much to his Catalan heritage — the Romanesque 
frescoes and Catalan manuscripts of his native pro- 
vince — as Gorky was committed to the medieval 
manuscripts and ancient tomb sculpture of his own 
Armenia; and both artists were united by an extra- 
ordinary sense of fantasy. Gorky could have seen 
Miro's work as early as 1927 in an exhibition or- 
ganized by the Societe Anonyme at The Brooklyn 
Museum; in 1930 at the Valentine Gallery, in a pre- 
sentation of the Gallatin Collection at The Gallery 
of Living Art and in Painting in Paris at The Mu- 
seum of Modern Art; and in 1932, 1933-34, 1935 
and 1936 at the Pierre Matisse Gallery. Moreover, 



45 




37. Joan Miro. Dog Barking at the Moon. 1926 
Oil on canvas, 28 3/4 x 36 1/4" 

Philadelphia Museum of Art: A.E. Gallatin Collection 

38. Joan Miro 

Still Life with Old Shoe. Paris, January 24-May 29, 1937 
Oil on canvas, 32 x 46" 

Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York; 
James Thrall Soby Bequest, 1979 

39. Joan Miro. Two Personages in Love with a Woman. 1936 
Oil on copper, 10 x 14" 

Courtesy Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York 



Miros were reproduced in Cahiers d 'Art in 1926, 1929, 
1934 and 1936. That Gorky knew and admired Miro 
paintings such as Dog Barking at the Moon, 1926 
(fig.37), is evident, for he incorporated a number of 
the Spaniard's images in his own canvases at an 
early date: the fanciful face that enlivens an other- 
wise orthodox Cubist Composition with Head, ca. 
1934-36 (cat. no. 79); the recurring eye, pinwheel 
or star motifs in the Nighttime, Enigma and Nos- 
talgia drawings; the bootlike form which already 
occurs in Still Life of 1929-32 (cat. no. 23); the lad- 
der forms in Painting, 1938 (cat. no. 119). These 
isolated motifs appeared in Gorky's canvases before 
Miro's formal influence became pervasive in the 
Garden of Sochi series. 

Gorky's most personal and formally resolved pain- 
tings, other than The Artist and His Mother, Portrait of 
Master Bill and the Self-Port rait of ca. 1937, are three 
canvases and related works on the Garden in Sochi 
theme (cat. nos. 121-125), begun in 1940. Gorky has 
identified the theme as a memory vision of the garden 
of his youth. His poem, written in 1942 at the request 
of Dorothy Miller when The Museum of Modern Art 
acquired Garden in Sochi (cat. no. 124), illuminates 
the meaning and evokes the mood of the series: 

/ like the heat, the tenderness, the edible, the lus- 
ciousness, the song of a single person, the bathtub 
full of water to bathe myself beneath the water. I 
like Uccello, Griinewald, Ingres, the drawings and 
sketches for paintings of Seurat, and that man 
Pablo Picasso. 

I measure all things by weight. 

I love my Mougouch. What about papa Cezanne! 
I hate things that are not like me and all the things 
I haven 't got are God to me. 

Permit me — 

I like the wheatfields, the plough, the apricots, the 
shape of apricots, those flirts of the sun. And bread 
above all. . . . 

About 194 feet away from our house on the road to 
the spring, my father had a little garden with a few 
apple trees which had retired from giving fruit. 
There was a ground constantly giving shade where 
grew incalculable amounts of wild carrots, and 
porcupines had made their nests. There was a blue 
rock half buried in the black earth with a few pat- 
ches here and there like fallen clouds. But where 
came all the shadows in constant battle like the 
lancers of Paolo Uccello' s paintings? This garden 
was identified as the Garden of Wish Fulfillment 
and often I had seen my mother and other village 



46 



women opening their bosoms and taking their soft 
and dependent breasts in their hands to rub them 
on the rock. Above all this stood an enormous tree 
all bleached under the sun, the rain, the cold, and 
deprived of leaves. This was the Holy tree. I my- 
self don't know why this tree was holy but I had 
witnessed many people, whoever did pass by, that 
would tear voluntarily a strip of their clothes and 
attach this to the tree. Thus through many years 
of the same act, like a veritable parade of banners 
under the pressure of wind all these personal in- 
scriptions of signatures, very softly to my innocent 
ear used to give echo to the sh-h-h-sh-h of silver 
leaves of the poplars. 38 

The painting believed to be the earliest in the 
Garden in Sochi series as well as its related studies 
(cat. no. 121) are based primarily on Miro's Still Life 
with Old Shoe, 1937 (fig. 38). Considered Miro's 
response to Picasso's allegorical masterpiece Guerni- 
ca, this is a simple composition of four symbolic ob- 
jects — an apple pierced by a fork, an old shoe, a 
gin bottle wrapped in paper and part of a loaf of 
bread. It is an impassioned protest against the hor- 
rors of war, against the Spanish Civil War and the 
anguish and poverty it engendered. While most ad- 
vocates of Miro's abstraction were disappointed with 
the picture's realism, the Surrealists embraced its 
representational and symbolic content. Gorky per- 
ceived its innate abstract form and translated the 
singularly realistic objects into an arrangement of 
organic shapes, suppressing Miro's modeling of form 
and spatial illusionism in favor of flatness. Even 
where Gorky does imply modeling, he shades only 
portions of forms and he merely alludes to depth 
by overlapping figures. Shapes remain basically flat, 
held in a single plane with horizontally and verti- 
cally disposed forms. He closely follows Miro's com- 
position, subdividing the canvas into four zones, with- 
out, however, alluding to either landscape or horizon 
line. Like Miro, Gorky ties his forms to the edges of 
the canvas, integrating figure and ground into one 
surface plane, allowing the field to encroach upon 
the autonomy of his forms. Gorky transforms the 
emotional as well as the descriptive content of Miro's 
canvas. While he uses Miro's basic palette, he changes 
its emphasis. Miro's ominous black field is now 
light-filled yellow ground. Night becomes day and a 
dark and angry vision becomes a hot summer gar- 
den. The nervous staccato of Miro's contours, the 
tortured forms and flickering light, suggestive of 
gunfire, war and flames, are transformed into lyrical, 
smoothly flowing forms, evoking a pastoral mood of 
rich and sensuous beauty. 



Gorky referred to a number of other Miros in 
the Sochi series, among them Two Personages in 
Love with a Woman, 1936 (fig. 39). In the Garden in 
Sochi of 1941 (cat. no. 123) he paraphrases the 
Spaniard's creatures: compare, for example, the 
strange figures in the lower right of the Miro with 
the similar configurations in Gorky's canvas; more- 
over, the face of Miro's woman may inspire Gorky's 
slipper and eye motif. Gorky also emulates Miro's 
alternating play of light and dark shapes spotted over 
the canvas. He eliminates the key component of 
Miro's abstract or naturalistic line from his Garden in 
Sochi paintings, but nevertheless retains the sense of 
gravitational pull which accompanies this element. 
Critics have commented that Miro's figures appear to 
float in a single plane in front of a backdrop, while 
Gorky's seem firmly anchored in place. However, in 
this and other Personage paintings of 1936, Miro 
uncharacteristically layers his figures in an irration- 
ally ordered landscape space or aligns them with the 
canvas edge to produce an effect of relatively stable 
shapes. The basic compositional arrangement of 
Garden in Sochi, 1943 (cat. no. 125), is very close to 
that of the first version. It is, however, far more pain- 
terly and abstract. Color is brushier and, like line, 
begins to assume independence. Edges of shapes are 
more active; forms, with their boundaries blurred, 
begin to dissolve into the medium of the field. Images 
retain the sense of animal life but become more 
schematic, as details such as eyes and tails are elimi- 
nated. 

Despite the many parallels that may be drawn be- 
tween the Sochi variants and Miro's oeuvre, import- 
ant differences exist. Miro's line is more even, his 
color more strident and intense. There is little evi- 
dence, as yet, in Gorky's work, except for the 
Nighttime series, of the erotic subjects which inhabit 
Miro's painting. Gorky does not organize his shapes 
into groups of teeming figures as Miro often does, 
nor does he employ the Spaniard's abrupt changes 
of scale. And Gorky's compositional phrasing is uni- 
que: the spaces between the forms themselves do 
not serve as mere background. Miro's backgrounds 
are impenetrable and definite; Gorky's are as 
ambiguous as his figures. Miro's Boschian figures 
are schematized but still representational, imbued 
with magical, religious and narrative overtones en- 
tirely absent from Gorky's more generalized, mys- 
terious forms. For, despite his symbolic allusions to 
personal memories, Gorky is far more abstract and 
far more painterly than Miro. 

By the early 1940s Gorky had clearly started to 
evolve a language of signs, symbols and form that 
corresponded to the intricate complexities of his 



47 



inner vision. Whereas his primary inspiration came 
from the poetic abstractions of Miro and Masson, he 
nevertheless admired the literal dreamscape illusion- 
ism of Dali and Tanguy and was intrigued and nour- 
ished by the Surrealist love of the dream, the land- 
scape of the mind and the imagination. In 1945 Gorky 
stated that "... art is a language that must be 
mastered before it can be conveyed." 39 Cubism rep- 
resented the language he mastered, Surrealism, the 
freedom to reinvent it. 

During the war years Gorky faced both spiritual 
and economic hardship. No longer receiving funds 
from the WPA/FAP, his poverty was extreme. He 
tried without success in the fall of 1940 to get a class 
together at the Grand Central School of Art. Deeply 
disturbed by the war, he volunteered to serve in the 
camouflage section of the army, but was rejected as 
overage. He organized a camouflage class at the 
Grand Central School of Art in the fall of 1941 and, 
in an announcement for the course, articulated his 
hopes that art might serve the war effort as well as 
an aesthetic function: 

An epidemic of destruction sweeps the world to- 
day. The mind of civilized man is set to stop it. 
What the enemy would destroy, however, he must 
first see. To confuse and paralyze this vision is the 
role of camouflage. Here the artist and more par- 
ticularly the modern artist can fulfill a vital func- 
tion for, opposed to this vision of destruction, is 
the vision of creation. 

Historically, it has been the artist's role to make 
manifest the beautiful inherent in all objects of na- 
ture and man. In the study of the object, as a thing 
seen, he has required a profound understanding 
and sensibility concerning its visual aspects. The 
philosophy as well as the physical and psychological 
laws governing their relationships constitute the 
primary source material for the study of camou- 
flage. The mastery of this visual intelligence has 
been the particular domain of the modern artist. 
Intent on the greatest exploration of the visible 
world it was the cubist painters who created the 
new magic of space and color that everywhere con- 
fronts our eyes in new architecture and design. 
Since then the various branches of modern art 
through exhaustive experiment and research have 
created a vast laboratory whose discoveries un- 
veiled for all the secrets of form, line and color. 
For it is these elements that make an object visible 
and which are for the artist the vocabulary of his 
language. 

This course is dedicated to that artist, contem- 



porary in his understanding of forces in the modern 
world, who would use this knowledge that will 
deepen and enrich his understanding of art as well 
as make him an important contributor to civilian 
and military defense.* 

Despite Gorky's enthusiasm, the course was soon 
abandoned because of insufficient enrollment. Gorky 
sold very little during his lifetime: in letter after 
letter to Vartoosh he complains he cannot sell his 
paintings. Not until 1945, three years before his 
death, was he able to write his sister that he was 
working for the first time without financial worries. 
However, in 1941 several of his friends, independent 
of one another, donated some of his works to mu- 
seums. Bernard Davis, an early supporter, gave Ar- 
gula, 1938 (cat. no. 120), to The Museum of Modern 
Art; Mr. and Mrs. Wolfgang S. Schwabacher gave 
Garden in Sochi, 1941, to the same museum; the 
mosaicist Jeanne Reynal gave Enigmatic Combat 
to the San Francisco Museum of Art. 

In 1941 Gorky met Agnes Magruder and imme- 
diately fell in love with her. (He had been married, 
very briefly in 1935 to Marny George, a young mid- 
Westerner living in New York.) Agnes, an admiral's 
daughter, strikingly beautiful and considerably 
younger than he, was very different from him in 
background, temperament and physical appearance. 
In the summer of 1941 Gorky and Agnes, together 
with the sculptor Isamu Noguchi and three other 
friends, traveled across country to San Francisco. 
The trip was prompted by Jeanne Reynal's sug- 
gestion to Gorky that a change in environment might 
benefit his painting. She offered him the use of a 
studio and promised to try to arrange an exhibition 
for him on the West Coast. 

The journey was in may ways a revelation for 
Gorky: for the first time he saw the vast expanses 
of the American landscape and he was introduced 
to the culture of the American Indian, so completely 
unlike the European aesthetic traditions in which he 
was immersed. Reynal's efforts were successful and a 
one-man exhibition of Gorky's work of 1921 to 1941 
was held at the San Francisco Museum of Art in Au- 
gust. The show met with favorable notice from critics 
who noted his sources in Picasso, Braque and Miro 
and praised his lushly tactile surfaces, his fluidity of 
design and spontaneity of movement. Most inter- 
esting were Alexander Fried's comments in the San 
Francisco Examiner of August 17, 1941, for at this 
early date, he saw Gorky as a Surrealist. 

Gorky and Agnes were married in Virginia City, 
Nevada, on September 15. They returned to New 
York and to 36 Union Square. For the first time in 



48 








Gorky with daughter Maro and Andre Breton, ca. 1946 



Crooked Run Farm, 1943 or 1944 




New York, ca. 1944 




Standing, 1. to. r.: Bernard Reis, Irene Francis, Esteban Francis, Elena Calas, Gorky, Enrico Donati, Nicolas 
Calas. Seated, clockwise: Steffi Kiesler, Andre Breton, Agnes Gorky, Max Ernst, Becky Reis, Elisa Breton, 
Patricia Malta, Frederick Kiesler, Nina Lebel, Matta Echaurren, Marcel Duchamp, New York, 1945 




Gorky and family in Sherman, Connecticut, February 1948 



his letters to Vartoosh Gorky expressed optimism, 
even happiness. He continued to work on his Sochi 
paintings and this year met and became friendly with 
the Chilean artist Matta Echaurren. He was in- 
creasingly drawn into Surrealist circles. 

The influence of Surrealism had emerged in the 
United States in the early 1930s and grew throughout 
the decade. As early as 1931 the first important 
Surrealist exhibition in America, Newer Super Re- 
alism, was mounted by Arthur Everett Austin at 
the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford. The show 
traveled to Julien Levy's gallery in New York in 
1932. Levy vigorously supported the movement, 
showing its important painters throughout the 1930s 
and publishing a major anthology, Surrealism, in 
1936. That same year Alfred H. Barr, Jr. presented the 
crucial Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism at The Mu- 
seum of Modern Art. 

Nothing Gorky and his colleagues had seen pre- 
viously prepared them for the revolutionary aesthet- 
ic of Surrealism which now caused them to rethink 
their own positions during the 1930s. The real cata- 
lyst for the younger artists' revolt was, however, the 
arrival in New York at the time of World War II 
of many of the major Surrealists — Max Ernst, Yves 
Tanguy, Matta Echaurren, Andre Masson and the 
poet laureate of the movement, Andre Breton. These 
artists, exiles like himself, brought with them a 
vitality, a commitment to the new, the experimental, 
the unorthodox. Their spirit, their imagery, their 
automatic techniques inspired Americans like Pol- 
lock, Rothko, Gottlieb, Newman, Still and de Koon- 
ing to throw off the past. They purged their art of 
political and social content and with it figura- 
tion, they abandoned the Neo-Plastic dogma of 
the American Abstract Artists and they abandoned 
Cubism, a movement that was already moribund 
in Europe. (A similar phenomenon was to occur 
in the early 1960s when Pop Art destroyed the last 
vestiges of a derivative Abstract Expressionism.) 
For all of the fledgling Americans it was an ex- 
hilarating moment in history that gave them the 
freedom and the challenge they needed to cut their 
bonds to a provincial American past and an out- 
moded European tradition. From this alliance with 
European Surrealist art and thought they forged, in 
a monumental effort, a brilliant new American art. 
For Joseph Cornell, who had practiced a form of 
Surrealism since 1932, and for Gorky, who had 
already experimented with the idiom in the thirties, 
the actual presence of these emigres in New York 
was particularly significant: their personal encoura- 
gement helped them persevere in their search for 
new means of expression, when Gorky was on the 



verge of a breakthrough and desperately needed 
critical approval, the Surrealists were there to 
support him. Gorky's new alliance was disdained 
by Stuart Davis who, as an unyielding Cubist, felt 
that his drift toward Surrealism was a betrayal of 
his innate gifts as an artist, a capitulation to a fri- 
volous and decadent movement. But Breton's position 
as the founder and leader of Surrealism had earned 
him the respect of many younger American artists. 
Thus, when he voiced his admiration for Gorky's 
work in his preface for the catalogue of the artist's 
exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery in 1945, his 
words reached a receptive audience. In Breton, 
Gorky found a mentor he revered; from him he re- 
ceived a kind of acclaim he had never before known 
and was not to experience again. For a few years 
Breton, poet and critic, was Gorky's Apollinaire. 
The year following their marriage, Gorky and 
Agnes spent three weeks at the home of Saul Schary 
in Connecticut. Working in the landscape re- 
awakened Gorky's deep feeling for nature. The Pirate 
I of 1942 (cat. no. 126) was an early response to the 
intense pleasure of this long-postponed moment. It 
is a delicate painting, a study in pale washes of color : 
soft greens, pale lavenders, delicate blues. The sur- 
face treatment is vastly different from anything the 
artist had ever before attempted. According to Ju- 
lien Levy, this radical change in technique may be 
ascribed to the influence of Matta. Matta described 
his "relationship with Gorky as one of unreserved 
exchange but basic misunderstanding." 41 Neverthe- 
less, the exchange was mutually rewarding. As Levy 
explains: 

Matta urged Gorky to mix turpentine freely in his 
paints and thus achieve the liberty of fresh, airy 
improvisation. He encouraged him to profit from 
the inevitable dripping of such a fluid medium, and 
to use the accidental splotches as suggestive forms 
for further elaboration, as Leonardo da Vinci used 
the stains on the wall plaster of his room. And, 
admiring Gorky's leaping and inventive line, a line 
like the flight of a fly, Matta borrowed for long 
study one of Gorky's most profuse drawings . . . 
so that for one or two years the drawings of Matta 
and those of Gorky had quite a family resem- 
blance. But, as Matta explains, their "meanings 
were different." Matta was working toward a 
vocabulary of his personal outer space and Gorky 
toward his inner space. Matta, the nihilist, was 
increasingly cynical at this time ; Gorky, warm 
and vulnerable.* 1 

While critics have noted that there is little substance 



51 




40. Vasily Kandinsky 

Black Lines. December 1913 

Oil on canvas, 51x51 1/4" 

Collection The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New 

York 

in Matta's work, he was a spectacular draftsman 
and superb technician. Gorky was attracted to his' 
charismatic presence and dazzling if inherently super- 
ficial style; he gave meaning and substance to many 
of Matta's ideas. 

The "Old Pirate," Gorky explained to Julien Levy, 
was a mongrel which visited his yard. And Levy has, 
in fact, discovered the image of a dog sitting placid- 
ly in the center foreground of the canvas, as well as 
the rump of a horse at the upper left. As Levy points 
out, Gorky at this time began his paintings from 
nature but proceeded to disguise or camouflage his 
images as they developed. A comparison of Pirate I 
with another version of the theme, Pirate II of 1943 
(cat. no. 127), reveals the intensification of the cam- 
ouflage process. In Pirate lithe amorphous imagery 
of the earlier painting has become even more ambi- 
guous, although the dog in the center foreground is 
still barely discernable. Moreover, the ground is 
brushier and more active in Pirate II and hence 
appears to encroach further upon the figures. This 
ground speaks less of natural atmosphere than of 
painterly expression. However, the clustering of forms 
in a centralized image within this field is regressive 
in terms of the evolution of Gorky's more allover 
compositions. Both paintings are like sketches, graced 
with spontaneous, flickering line which animates and 
unifies evanescent form. 

Waterfall of ca. 1943 (cat. no. 129) is one of 
Gorky's most intense evocations of nature. It re- 



tains certain recognizable landscape elements but 
affords the viewer an immediate and satisfying ap- 
prehension of nature through basically abstract 
means — cool, dense greens and blues, the smooth 
watery flow of paint and liquid forms. We can sense 
the path of the water as it cascades down the fall, 
flows in and around the rocks and comes to rest in 
the eddies and pools at its base. Here Gorky res- 
ponds to his surroundings directly, as he captures 
the essence of nature. 

Waterfall and other paintings of the period, such 
as Housatonic Falls, 1943-44 (cat. no. 138), reveal the 
powerful influence of Kandinsky. While it is unlikely 
that Gorky saw Kandinsky's one-man show at the 
Societe Anonyme in 1923, he had ample oppor- 
tunity to become familiar with the Russian's work in 
later years: at the Blue Four exhibition at the Daniel 
Gallery in New York in 1925; at the Societe Ano- 
nyme in 1926 and 1927; at J.B. Neumann's New 
Art Circle in 1936; at Nierendorf in 1937; at the 
Museum of Non-Objective Painting; and at another 
Blue Four exhibition at the Buchholz Gallery in 
1944. Kandinsky's art served as an antidote to the 
literary and literally realistic painting of many Sur- 
realists and reinforced Gorky's own inclinations 
toward abstraction. And most important was Kan- 
dinsky's painterliness, upon which Gorky drew 
throughout the remainder of his brief life. In both 
Waterfall and Housatonic Falls, Gorky adapts Kan- 
dinsky's peaked forms and, to a certain extent, his 
highly-charged line. However, he is now more in- 
terested in touch and strong color harmonies than in 
the independent line exemplified in Kandinskys such 
as Black Lines, December 1913 (fig. 40); thus, his 
line does not exist for its own sake but has structural 
and spatial relevance, giving shape to a rock, a 
slope, a ledge, establishing shallow planes which 
position forms in space. Waterfall and Housatonic 
Falls also suggest Kandinsky in their random jux- 
taposition and fanning out of forms. Yet passages 
in which form is built up of massed strokes recall 
Cezanne. And the spirit of Cezanne is evoked as 
well in the palpable and living atmosphere of these 
canvases. 

Waterfall is far more painterly than any of the 
artist's preceding work. Here, with utmost virtuo- 
sity, Gorky manipulates large and small forms, dark 
and pastel colors, spontaneous line. He contrasts 
random surface treatment with precise form, deli- 
cately etched line with washes of color and drips of 
paint. He applies paint in overlapping layers or al- 
lows it to soak into the canvas; he bleeds one color 
into another and lightens a dark mass with diaphan- 
ous plumes of white. He defines amorphous forms 



52 



by juxtaposing them against secondary shapes and 
weaves his changeable line in and out of color areas. 
His extraordinary loose painterly style prefigures 
such brilliantly realized abstract canvases as Water 
of the Flowery Mill, 1944 (cat. no. 160), and How My 
Mother's Embroidered Apron Unfolds in My Life, 
1944 (cat. no. 164). 

In the summer of 1942 Gorky visited his in-laws 
at their newly acquired home in Virginia, Crooked 
Run Farm. The Gorkys took with them their daugh- 
ter Maro, born in April of that year. Here he started 
a series of drawings inspired by nature; he began, in 
in his own words, to "look into the grass." 43 These 
works, which James Johnson Sweeney describes as 
"a series of monumentally drawn details of what 
one might see in the heavy August grass," 44 together 
with numerous others Gorky executed on subse- 
quent visits to Virginia became the source for many 
of his most magnificent paintings. Now Gorky stu- 
died nature with a passion he had heretofore re- 
served for the study of art, examining closely the 
forms of flowers, leaves, insects, observing the wind 
as it ruffled the tall grasses that grew in that region. 
He captured the appearance of living organisms and 
the sense of the sun, shadow and heat around him; 
and, above all, he captured the poetry and beauty of 
nature. From these observations of the flora and 
fauna of external reality, his studies of past art, the 
inspiration of other artists and from his inner life of 
memories and emotions, Gorky created a vocabulary 
of new forms. In his well-known essay, "The Eye- 
Spring," written for the catalogue of Gorky's show 
at Julien Levy's, Breton defined these forms as 
"hybrid" and described their genesis in the context 
of Surrealism: 

By "hybrids" I mean the resultants provoked in an 
observer contemplating a natural spectacle with 
extreme concentration, the resultants being a 
combination of the spectacle and a flux of child- 
hood and other memories, and the observer being 
gifted to a rare degree with the grace of emotion. 
In short it is my concern to emphasize that Gorky 
is, of all the surrealist artists, the only one who 
maintains direct contact with nature — sits down to 
paint before her. Furthermore, it is out of the 
question that he would take the expression of this 
nature as an end in itself— rightly he demands of 
her that she provide sensations that can serve as 
springboards for both knowledge and pleasure in 
fathoming certain profound states of mind. What- 
ever may be the subtle ways by which these states 
of mind choose to express themselves they stem 
from the wild and tender personality which Gorky 



hides, and share the sublime struggle of flowers 
growing toward the light of day. Here for the first 
time nature is treated as cryptogram. The artist 
has a code by reason of his own sensitive anterior 
impressions, and can decode nature to reveal the 
very rhythm of life.* 5 

Breton saw no difficulty in classifying Gorky as a 
Surrealist although his initial inspiration was in 
nature, while the Surrealists' was, by definition, in 
pure automatism. This was indeed a significant dif- 
ference however, one that set Gorky apart from the 
Surrealists, just as it later was to separate him from 
the Abstract Expressionists. In fact, Gorky and the 
Surrealists proceeded in opposite directions. The 
Surrealists began without specific images in mind 
but discovered and cultivated those that emerged in 
the process of applying their random marks. In Bre- 
ton's term they were "moving in favor of the sub- 
ject." Gorky, however, was moving from nature to- 
ward abstraction. 

The eroticism of Gorky's drawings and paintings 
relates to the Surrealist obsession with sexuality and 
their use of Freudian symbolism to express sexual 
content. Sexual content in Surrealist art took various 
forms. For Miro, sex means procreation, birth and 
renewal; his approach is positive and humorous, 
except at the time of the Spanish Civil War when his 
imagery becomes grotesque and bestial. Malta's 
sexual imagery, on the other hand, is aggressive, 
equated with violence and death, and Dali's speaks 
of voyeurism and impotence. The sexual imagery in 
Gorky's erotic paintings — depictions of male and fe- 
male genetalia — may in some instances be compared 
to the forms in Matta's paintings. Most often it is 
similar in its form and playfulness to Miro's imagery. 
Frequently, however, these paintings convey a mood 
of profound frustration and despair. Occasionally, 
the images, heightened color and exquisite line 
express erotic ecstacy, as in the sublime The Liver 
Is the Cock's Comb, 1944 (cat. no. 161). 

Many drawings of these years are dense and im- 
pacted, rich in color and nuance, complex in imag- 
ery. Gorky produced the most intricate drawings 
of 1943-44 with the simplest means: pencil, pen and 
ink, wax crayon, pastel. Rarely using all media in 
a single drawing, usually working in a horizontal 
format, with limited means he cultivates a variety 
of effects. He at once reveals the inherent charac- 
teristics of individual materials and combines them 
into an integrated totality, creating the appearance 
of interpenetrating levels of space. In examples such 
as The Housatonic and Composition I of 1943 (cat. 
nos. 134, 136) he continues to explore the biomor- 



53 



phic forms and the play of positive against negative 
space which engaged him in the Khorkom and 
Nighttime, Enigma and Nostalgia series. He also 
combines the crosshatching of the Nighttime draw- 
ings with a more random circular pattern of lines. 
Entirely new, however, is the importance accorded 
to contouring line — line which indicates a horizon, 
defines a plane or shapes an amorphous figure. 
New also is the freedom with which shapes float, 
drifting towards the top of the paper, stabilized only 
by the residual horizon line. 

Pastel and crayon or crayon and pencil drawings 
of 1943, among them Drawing, Untitled, Carnival 
(cat. nos. 154, 157, 159), display a coloristic bril- 
liance not attained in the paintings until the follow- 
ing year. Drawings of this type are the models upon 
which Gorky based such major canvases as The 
Liver Is the Cock's Comb. Their lush, velvety sur- 
faces and intense hothouse color recall the pastels of 
Redon, although Gorky's mixture of mediums gives 
them more varied texture and subtler modulation. 
In the most successful works of this genre, Gorky 
achieves an effect of color washes that is more char- 
acteristic of painting than drawing. Indeed, these 
drawings rival the oils in their beauty and perfection. 

Other drawings (see cat. no. 178, for example) of" 
the period are as lean, spare and resistant as Com- 
position I, Carnival and its companions are rich, 
complex and ingratiating. Here, Gorky used only a 
minimum of means — pencil and occasionally a 
trace of crayon, working the nap of the paper to 
create an effect comparable to embossing. These 
extraordinarily subdued drawings require close scru- 
tiny to reveal the subtle complexities of patterns and 
nuances. Yet another category of works on paper, 
among them Composition II, Untitled, Anatomical 
Blackboard, all of 1943 (cat. nos. 145, 146, 148), 
display greater clarity than the extremely complex 
or colored drawings and are more sensuous than 
the austere pencil drawings. Here Gorky employs a 
variety of forms, techniques and concepts. In draw- 
ings such as Untitled, forms are veiled by a series of 
misty areas in the foreground which confound our 
reading of spatial relationships. In Anatomical 
Blackboard there is a play between effects of recession 
into space and horizontal movement across the flat 
surface plane of the paper, between flat and volu- 
metric form, between precise and sketchy line, be- 
tween line which encloses shape and freely meander- 
ing line. And Drawing is comprised of plant and 
animal forms, vaguely phallic shapes, pinwheels, 
dashes, plumes of color, all disposed frontally on the 
flat surface plane in the manner of Miro. On the 
other hand, Matta's forms, his spatial illusionism 



and adaptations of his automatist painting tech- 
niques are apparent in a number of the drawings (see 
cat. no. 140). However, no matter how closely the 
Chilean's example is followed, Gorky's drawings are 
far softer, more sensitive and poetic, free of Matta's 
illustrational overtones and brittle effects. 

The study for They Will Take My Island, 1944 (cat. 
no. 180), is a superb example of an additional group 
of Gorky's works on paper, the preliminary drawings 
for paintings. Characteristically direct and spon- 
taneous, it lacks the attention to finish, the exquisite 
perfection of the other drawings, for Gorky is con- 
cerned with ideas and planning, not subtleties of 
execution. The more generous forms and open areas 
convey a sense of scale not apparent in the denser, 
impacted drawings of the period. This drawing, like 
others before it, attests to Gorky's concern with 
flatness: despite some layering of space, the forms 
remain basically two-dimensional. To enhance this 
sense of flatness Gorky aligns most of his shapes in 
rectilinear fashion, referring to an implicit or explicit 
grid. Often he crops forms at the edges of the paper, 
thereby tying them, no matter how active they are, 
to the surface of the support. These are his most 
nearly abstract drawings, for he seldom refers to 
landscape in them. Yet the sense of landscape con- 
tinues to inform them, for Gorky created new and 
magical metaphors for nature with the line, shape 
and color of the exquisite drawings of this year. 

Like the drawings of 1944, The Liver Is the Cock's 
Comb contains numerous elliptical forms gathered 
together into small groups which are scattered across 
the flat field of the support. Tiny pointed forms cap 
several of these configurations: they function almost 
abrasively, interrupting the smooth flow of move- 
ment, contrasting with the scale and rounded con- 
tours of the major shapes. A number of verticals act 
as sentinels or stanchions, unifying the composition 
and locking its mobile figures securely in place. 
Line plays a vital if supporting role, defining por- 
tions of shapes, enhancing the vertical thrust of 
bands of color, linking forms. In addition, Gorky 
duplicates or approximates the shapes of certain 
color-forms with line. He positions these linear 
echoes so that the forms seem off-register. The Liver 
Is the Cock's Comb is at once a grand summing up 
of ideas generated in the drawings and paintings of 
the preceding years and a forerunner of concepts 
Gorky would explore in future work. For example, 
the pointed ocher and green shape at the upper right 
is developed more emphatically in the late master- 
piece Agony, 1947 (cat. no. 220), and the feathering 
of paint becomes an essential component of the 
great series of 1947, The Plow and the Song and The 



54 




41. Joan Miro. The Tilled Field. 1923-24 
Oil on canvas, 26 x 36 1/2" 
Collection The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 

Orators (cat. nos. 203-205, 238). Tactility is en- 
hanced, spotting of light and dark areas intensified, 
as the rich and varied hues of earlier canvases pro- 
liferate into a luxuriant garden of ;olor. As in the 
earlier Waterfall, a profusion of organic shapes is 
organized in a series of shallow overlapping planes. 
The planes are tied to the canvas surface with a 
narrow column of pale lemon yellow which, like 
Mondrian's black bands, stops just short of the bot- 
tom edge of the support. Grouped to the right of 
these planes is a cluster of smaller forms, some oval, 
one resembling a bird in profile. The disposition of 
those small forms, tightly jammed together and 
overlapped, reading in shallow depth, contrasts with 
that of the larger figures which are set somewhat 
further apart and read up and down the surface 
plane. 

Gorky looks beyond his own earlier work for for- 
mal precedents for The Liver Is the Cock's Comb. 
The influence of Kandinsky is pervasive in the flow- 
ing forms, pointed shapes, the charged field of orien- 
tal colors scattered against greys, the feathery brush 



stroke. While the model of Kandinsky is central, 
Gorky sought inspiration as well in a myriad of 
sources in the art of the past. The telescoping of 
near and far distances recalls Griinewald's Isenheim 
Altarpiece; the jumps in scale suggest parallels with 
Renaissance donor portraits where the importance 
of the subject, rather than its position in space, 
determines its size. As if to support this reference, 
Gorky's painting even contains, in the best Renais- 
sance tradition, a "window" (just off-center at the 
top of the canvas). In addition, Miro's The Tilled 
Field, 1923-24 (fig. 41), may have inspired Gorky in 
its utilization of objects of inconsistent scale to sug- 
gest flatness and depth and create a sense of a land- 
scape space. Whereas Miro's fanciful and abstract 
landscapes retain a feeling of natural reality, Gorky 
gives us a world of another order. His is at once a 
visceral interior and a landscape that, as Julien 
Levy has so aptly said, "unfolds in full daylight." 
An extraordinary coupling of visceral forms and ani- 
mal imagery, interior and exterior spaces, it speaks 
eloquently of his intense involvement with both 



55 




42. Armenian Manuscript: Hovhannes of Hizan. Baptismal 
Scene, 1402. Whereabouts unknown 

Surrealism and nature. In true Surrealist fashion, 
he places objects from separate spatial and concep- 
tual planes in unexpected juxtaposition, for his join- 
ing of the animal and the visceral is, as Max Ernst 
expressed it, "the fortuitous encounter upon a non- 
suitable plane of two mutually distant realities." 46 

Not only Western European art but Armenian 
stone carving, mural and manuscript painting signi- 
ficantly influenced Gorky's mature painting. For 
Eastern European art nourished his abstract art as 
profoundly as it had his portraits. He often referred 
to the medieval manuscript painters Sarkis Pidzak 
and Toros Roslin, to the splendors of the sculp- 
tures of Akhtamar and to the art of the family's 
Vart Badrik shrine in Khorkum. He said this shrine 
"is as vivid before my eyes as in my youth" 
and "I trace with my hand the lacework of the 
Katchkar, the abstract work of centuries of inno- 
cent Armenian artists, trained and untrained, each 
carving speaking its own language." 47 He spoke also 
of his memories of "Medieval Armenian manuscript 
paintings with their beautiful Armenian faces, sub- 
tle colors, their tender lines and the calligraphy. . . . 
And to this day I can still feel the chill of excitement 



at being introduced to a whole new world of plas- 
ticity. I love the School of Lake Van. I love the 
School of Cilicia of our Toros Roslin and Sarkis 
Pidzak." 48 And he maintained that "Toros Roslin 
is the first. But Uccello is the next step. The begin- 
nings of what are considered modern paintings, the 
coming to grips with color and dimensionality and 
space. . . ." 49 Gorky loved to recite tales of Ar- 
menia's past and trace its culture from the begin- 
nings of civilization, to point to its art and the land 
as the true sources of his own art. He repeatedly re- 
ferred to the Armenian plows, the butterchurns and 
clay baking tools, the rugs, the gardens, wheatfields 
and orchards of the Adoian family, noting, for ex- 
ample, how the "dimensionality of our three houses 
coalesces with red orchards and blue gardens," de- 
scribing "purple mountains and Lake Van's white 
salt shores and the sweet valleys and animals," 50 
reminding Vartoosh of his earliest paintings "when I 
used Armenia's authentic colors. Painting on Gunick 
eggs was my introduction to the use of color. Nature 
in Armenia was an inexhaustible paint tube. And 
brushes once dipped in it can dance to their own 
songs." 51 More importantly, he recognized in Arme- 
nian art a universal language of form. He wrote: 

Beloved ones, I am forever fascinated by the uni- 
versality of art. I mean that sometimes I will paint 
a thought or concept and then see the very same 
one for the first time in an ancient work. . . . Such 
inexplicable occurences lead me to conclude that 
certain similarities in art can arise independently 
in various regions on earth. . . . It is why I feel 
that tradition in art is so important for progress. 
The sensitivity of the Armenian world seems to 
flow out of my hands and mind. When I see ancient 
Armenian art I feel that I am a part of it . . . . It 
is as if that ancient artist felt and thought as I do. 
Yet both of us thought and felt in an identical 
manner quite independent of each other. . . . 
Strange, that thousands of years of separation 
produce the sinew of identity. 

Dearest ones, it is my feeling that form is the lan- 
guage of a given time, and it is that which must 
be constantly sought. Many emotions and experi- 
ences are ageless. Some are more readily con- 
veyed than others . . . I seek a form or language 
which will express my ideas for our time. 52 

Gorky's heightened color, rhythmic forms, his 
combination of a rectilinear structure and meander- 
ing line, his attention to silhouette and to detail, his 
fluid calligraphy, his disregard of Renaissance per- 
spective in favor of a hieratic ordering of forms, in- 



56 



dicate much more than a profound regard for spe- 
cifically Armenian tradition, art and architecture, 
more than a revival of an art of the past and the incor- 
poration of the aesthetic of an ancient tradition into 
his paintings and drawings. In the medieval manu- 
scripts, mural painting and stone carving of his home- 
land, Gorky discovered a timeless language of form 
(see fig. 42). In. Armenian art, as in Surrealism, 
Gorky found an art that combined the worlds of 
the inner imagination and exterior reality, the sacred 
and the profane, the fantastic and the sublime. Gorky 
achieved his extraordinary ambition: he created a 
new language within the context of ancient Near 
Eastern tradition, Western European art and the 
avant-garde. 

If The Liver Is the Cock's Comb epitomizes Gorky's 
emotional expressivity, They Will Take My Island, 
1944 (cat. no. 181), is the ultimate embodiment of 
of his rational artistic intelligence. As The Liver Is 
the Cock's Comb resonates with seductive heat, so 
They Will Take My Island is tough, astringent and 
comparatively inaccessible. For the latter work and 
Painting, also 1944 (cat. no 182), show the artist 
adapting his leanest drawing style to canvas and re- 
straining the spontaneous flow of his feelings in favor 
of conscious control. Of these canvases, Gorky said, 
"Any time I was ready to make a line somewhere, I 
put it somewhere else. And it was always better." 53 
And shortly after his death his widow wrote, "When 
he painted from his drawings it was different from 
drawing from nature because he was editing his own 
emotion and adding and using all his conscious 
knowledge of his art. This produced some wonderful 
paintings but he sometimes said he wished he could 
eliminate that art and make the paintings as direct 
on the canvas as the emotion was within him in front 
of nature. . . . he would like to eliminate the artis- 
tic and conscious selection." 54 

Both paintings feature a sort of rude drawing and 
reveal little attention to detail or exquisite effects — 
an approach typical of a number of studies but rare 
in his canvases to date. Where The Liver and Water 
of the Flowery Mill, 1944 (cat. no. 160), display a 
rich and varied range of color, They Will Take My 
Island and Painting are almost colorless. What little 
color they contain is laid on cursorily and is as un- 
yielding as their line. Here line is urgent and abrupt 
where elsewhere it is full of liquid grace; here there 
is anger and defiance where elsewhere there is har- 
mony. Significantly, the model for They Will Take 
My Island is not the work of Kandinsky or Miro (al- 
though certain of its forms are Miroesque), but 
Picasso's Guernica, which Gorky very much admired. 
The clenched fists, contorted face, flame-like forms, 



like the motifs of Guernica, all speak of death and 
destruction. Like Guernica, it is a statement about 
homeland ; as in Guernica, the style is graphic rather 
than painterly. They Will Take My Island and Paint- 
ing are pivotal in their linearity. They are tough and 
demanding works in which Gorky begins to explore 
line in a manner that anticipates Pollock's allover 
painting by several years. And they are equally note- 
worthy in anticipating Gorky's own paintings such 
as Nude, Charred Beloved I and Charred Beloved II, 
all of 1946 (cat. nos. 194, 195, 196), which are emptied 
of all but a few form-defining lines and spare touches 
of color. 

By now Gorky began to explore the uses of poetic 
titles for his paintings. A number of these titles were 
suggested by friends, among them Breton, Max 
Ernst and Julien Levy. Ernst, for example, proposed 
Diary of a Seducer, which was a chapter heading in 
Kierkegaard's Either\Or. And the painting Days,etc. 
was inspired by Paul Eluard's "Days like fingers, 
twist their battalions." Gorky has elaborated upon 
a number of his titles, illuminating layers of their 
meaning: 

The song of a cardinal, liver, mirrors that have 
not caught reflection, the aggressively heraldic 
branches, the saliva of the hungry man whose face 
is painted with white chalk. 

The Liver Is the Cock's Comb 

. . . down the road, by the stream, that Old Mill, 
it used to grind corn, now it is covered with vines, 
birds, flowers. Flour Mill — Flowery Mill. That's 
funny! I like that idea . . . 

Water of the Flowery Mill 

. . . one image leads to another, one wisdom 
leads to another when you look into it, like peeling 
an artichoke . . . the leaves lying in the plate like 
feathers . . . and of course the silhouette of an 
artichoke leaf is quite simply that of an owl. . . . 

The Leaf of the Artichoke Is an Owl 

I tell stories to myself, often, while I paint, often 
nothing to do with the painting. Have you ever 
listened to a child telling that this is a house and 
this is a man and this is a cow in the sunlight . . . 
while his crayon wanders in an apparently mean- 
ingless scrawl all over the paper? My stories are 
often from my childhood. My mother told me 
many stories while I pressed my face into her long 
apron with my eyes closed. She had a long white 
apron like the one in her portrait, and another 
embroidered one. Her stories and the embroidery 
on her apron got confused in my mind with my 



57 



eyes closed. All my life her stories and her embroi- 
dery keep unraveling pictures in my memory. If 
I sit before a blank white canvas. . . . 

How My Mother's Embroidered Apron Unfolds 
in My Life 

. . . I have been so lonely, so exasperated, and 
how to paint such empty space, so empty it's the 
limit. 1 . . . . 

The Limit 55 

While Gorky's titles are evocations of memories, of 
present objects, of poems, of insights and feelings — 
they are not descriptions of the forms and events in 
his paintings. It is, of course, possible to see in many 
of the paintings and drawings specific subject matter 
such as plant and animal forms, domestic interiors, 
funeral orations, particularly when they are sug- 
gested by the titles. Because the figures are so am- 
biguous and the compositions so complex, however, 
they elicit a variety of reactions; each viewer is stim- 
ulated to provide an individual interpretation. 
Gorky did not wish his paintings stripped of their 
complexity but welcomed unique and imaginative 
responses. He was, after all, not a painter of the ideo- 
gram or the pictograph like many of his contempo- 
raries. Nor was he a painter of emblems like the Pop 
artists who followed in the next generation. He was, 
as William Rubin has noted, a painter of poetic al- 
lusion. 56 He was a painter of nature filtered through 
memory and fantasy who moved from representa- 
tion toward abstraction, from the realm of the ex- 
terior world to the inner imagination. It is best to 
read his work with caution, as Levy has noted, 57 
citing Breton's remarks in this context: 

Truly the eye was not meant to take inventory like 
an auctioneer not to flirt with delusions and false 
recognitions like a maniac .... Easy-going ama- 
teurs will come here for their meager rewards; in 
spite of all warning to the contrary they will insist 
on seeing in these compositions a still life, a land- 
scape, or a figure instead of daring to face the 
hybrid forms in which all human emotion is ex- 
pressed. 58 

As the forties progressed, Gorky continued to seek 
change and, painting as one possessed, experi- 
mented with a variety of techniques and formal pos- 
sibilties. He recalls Klee in the delicate tracery of line, 
the tonal nuances, the floating, disembodied forms 
and sense of fantasy of some works. He develops the 
lean, graphic style announced in They Will Take My 
Island in paintings such as Impatience, Hugging, 
Landscape Table, all 1945 (cat. nos. 184, 185, 189). 



Here Gorky turns once again to the example of Miro, 
highlighting shape with a line of contrasting color, 
blending one color area into another, dissolving 
solid surfaces into transparent veils with overlays of 
line. The power and poetry of Gorky's drawing, 
however, far surpasses the expressiveness of Miro's 
line. And Gorky does not emulate Miro's primitive 
shapes nor their disposition in space. Miro's forms are 
solid and complete, self-contained and bounded on 
all sides, and are usually confined to a single plane 
in a fairly legible space or floated in front of an at- 
mospheric field. Only rarely does Miro introduce the 
background into the fabric of his images. Gorky, on 
the other hand, has evolved a very different concept 
of form, movement and space. His forms are not 
bounded but, rather, are amorphous entities, linked 
to one another and always flowing in and out of a 
yielding, complex, ambiguous spatial continuum. 

In January 1946, a fire in Gorky's studio destroyed 
much of his work: drawings, sketches, books were 
reduced to ashes. In February of the same year he 
underwent an operation for cancer. Perhaps sensing 
that he had little time left to live, he began working 
even more compulsively. That summer the Gorkys, 
now a family of four (their second daughter Natasha 
was born in 1945), returned once more to the 
Magruder's farm in Virginia. Gorky produced 292 
drawings, again working in the fields. New skeletal 
forms inhabit the landscape drawings, joining the 
familiar floral and palette, bird and animal motifs. 
Also among the drawings of this summer was a group 
of small interiors, some of which became the basis 
for important late paintings such as The Calendars, 
1947 (now destroyed). 

The drawings are superb, yet the paintings that 
followed in 1946 and 1947 are even more extraor- 
dinary. Ranging from the spare linearity of Nude, 

1946 (cat. no. 194), to the pure painterly expression 
of The Plow and the Song series, they are in general 
more open and direct than the canvases of the past. 
It is as if the fire and his operation had released him 
from his obsessional concern with perfection of detail 
and finish. Shapes grow more attenuated, line more 
nervous, color more evanescent. He employs many 
techniques, thinning paint so it soaks into the canvas 
in Charred Beloved I and Charred Beloved II, fea- 
thering it in The Betrothal II and The Betrothal, 

1947 (cat. nos. 198, 200), rubbing it with his brush 
into the canvas in Year After Year, 1947 (cat. no. 
212). Mooradian has pointed out that Gorky often 
wet his canvas down before painting so it would be- 
come taut and then, after working on it, wet it down 
again, removing much of the paint. Gorky said, "I 
prefer not to see the strength of my arm in the paint- 



58 




43. Matta Echaurren 

Le Vertige D'Eros. 1944 

Oil on canvas, 77 x 99" 

Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York 

Given anonymously 




44. Matta Echaurren 

Fabulous Race Track of Death (Instrument Very Dangerous 

to the Eye), n.d. 

Oil on canvas, 27 1/2 x 35 1/2" 

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 

Gift of the Societe Anonyme 



ing but only the poetry of my heart. The trouble is 
everyone uses their arms too much, that is too many 
brushstrokes. And I prefer, after the scrubbing, to 
be able to move into the painting and reform it. I 
want to leave only the ghost of the painting to spur 
imagination." 59 He explores numerous formal pos- 
sibilities as well, in a single year, 1947, submerging 
figure into ground in Agony (cat. no. 220), returning 
once again to intricate linear expression and spatial 
agitation in Summation (cat. no. 247), enveloping 
figures and field in a liquid atmosphere and evoking 
infinite spaces extending beyond the canvas bound- 
aries in The Limit (cat. no. 248); floating his forms in 
an ambiguous, indefinable space in The Orators (cat. 
no. 238). 

The sense of movement and flux in these canvases 
calls to mind Matta's work of the late 1930s and early 
1940s (see, for example, figs. 43, 44). Gorky borrows 
Matta's roughly ovoid and trapezoidal shapes. Like 
Matta, he makes them radiate from a central point, 
but he flattens the Chilean's deep space. Moreover. 
Matta's space is labyrinthean and chaotic, while 
Gorky's compositions, random and varied as their 
scattered images may appear, are in actuality highly 
organized and far simpler. For, like many great 
artists, Gorky understands that simplicity and clarity 
must underly a complex vision. Matta's fondness 
for theatrical effects and his preference for me- 
chanical form rather than natural phenomena set 
him very much apart from Gorky. Both Matta and 
Gorky were intrigued by Duchamp's machines: 
Matta used them as the point of departure for a 



series of paintings with robot subjects. But when 
Gorky referred to The Bride Stripped Bare by Her 
Bachelors, Even in The Betrothal and The Betrothal 
II, he converted Duchamp's soft machine into a new 
anatomy of organic forms. He transformed The 
Bride into a despairing and moving commentary on 
courtship, love and death. Like many artists attracted 
to modern science, Matta succeeded only in produc- 
ing rather literal approximations of mechanical forms 
and futuristic visions of space. Gorky's vision of 
nature and space was enacted as a drama in the langu- 
age of abstract form. 

Nude, Charred Beloved I and Charred Beloved II 
are masterpieces of understatement, composed of a 
small number of intensely evocative forms. Gorky's 
command of line and color allows him to shape forms 
and articulate the space between them with a mini- 
mum of means — a few bold strokes, a few touches of 
pigment. Like Miro, Gorky is able to place his figures 
slightly off-center or align them with the edges of the 
canvas withoutdisruptingthetenuous equilibrium of 
his compositions. Although he rarely explored field 
painting as we now conceive of it, throughout his late 
work he fuses field and image into a continuum. Just 
as he joins image and ground into a single entity in 
his last paintings, so he synthesizes forms and motifs 
from various stages of his evolution: antique casts, 
bird, animal and floral forms, Armenian slippers, but- 
terchurns exist together in the unified vision of his 
final statements. Toward the end of his life, Gorky 
became disillusioned with Surrealism. In a letter to 
Vartoosh he said: 



59 



. . . Surrealism is academic art under disguise 
and anti-aesthetic and suspicious of excellence and 
largely in opposition to modern art. Its claim of 
liberation is really restrictive because of its narrow 
rigidity. To its adherents the tradition of art and 
its quality mean little. They are drunk with psy- 
chiatric spontaneity and inexplicable dreams. 
. . . Their ideas are quite strange and somewhat 
flippant, almost playful. Really they are not as 
earnest about painting as I should like artists to 
be. Art must always remain earnest. . . . Art can 
remain marvelous when it is not conquered by 
frivolity. 60 

As he had freed himself from Cezanne, from Cubism, 
from Picasso, Gorky had now moved beyond Sur- 
realism into a new realm. 

Julien Levy related that Masson once told Gorky 
"I do not paint in front of, but from within nature." 61 
Gorky might have said this about himself. As both 
Schwabacher and Levy have pointed out, Gorky 
and, hence, the viewer seem to be within the field of 
many of his paintings. This feeling of immersion 
in nature is intensified in the last works. The figures 
are now more rudimentary, fragmented and dis- 
connected, the brushstrokes larger and more im- 
petuous, the drawing rougher: like Monet at the end 
of his life, Gorky seems impatient in his search for 
meaning. Although his forms dissolve and the rhy- 
thm and flow of his line and images are interrupted, 
the paintings are about death only in the sense that 
death is part of life: they are a celebration of life, of 
the forces of nature and art. Gorky said "Even death 
expands. Death and life are two moving planes in 
eternal existence." 62 Human life, nature and art are 
one. Gorky is within nature and within art. 

Gorky's terrible childhood experiences may have 
strengthened his will to survive his grave illness and 
the destruction by fire of his studio and his work, 
or it may ultimately have contributed to his collapse. 
His marriage, which had been troubled, now began 
to disintegrate. He had endured years of poverty and 
lack of recognition, but he could not withstand the 
final event in the succession of tragedies that befell 
him. On June 26, 1948, the car in which he was 
riding with Julien Levy and his wife Muriel crashed. 
Gorky's neck was broken. When he returned home 
from the hospital ten days later, his painting arm 
was paralyzed. Agnes left with the children for her 
parents' farm. Driven by despair, anger, jealousy, 
frustration in his love of family and art, Gorky 
killed himself on July 21, 1948. 

In his too brief life Gorky produced some of the 



most sublime paintings of our time. He reached his 
artistic maturity several years before his friends and 
colleagues of the future New York School and in- 
troduced a complex of ideas and problems he did 
not live to resolve. This and the standard of great- 
ness he set was his legacy to succeeding generations 
of painters. In concerning himself with the formal 
problems of pure painting — color, flatness, fron- 
tality — he anticipated both Abstract Expressionism 
and stain painting, although he used color in rela- 
tion to line and form, according to the traditions of 
easel painting. In One Year the Milkweed of 1944 
he drips paint with an abandon worthy of the action 
painters; in The Liver Is the Cock's Comb he treats 
broad area in a manner that prefigures Newman; he 
experiments with allover patterning before Pollock; 
he gives disembodied color an independent life be- 
fore Rothko; he exploits the physicality of paint as 
de Kooning, who describes him as his mentor, came 
to present it. While he explores the relative values 
and tonalities of colors, he predicts the stain painting 
of Morris Louis by using thin, almost transparent 
washes of color. 

Gorky has been called the last Surrealist and the 
first Abstract Expressionist. There is some truth in 
each judgement, but neither is accurate: he was both 
and he was neither. He did not participate in either 
the Surrealist movement proper or the formation of 
the Abstract Expressionist group yet represented 
Surrealism's last great plastic expression, and in his 
formal concerns and painterliness he anticipated Ab- 
stract Expressionism. He differed from the Ab- 
stract Expressionists in his lifelong commitment to 
the Old Masters; in his careful preplanning of his 
paintings with complete and fully rendered sketches; 
in his combination of the rational order of Cubism 
with the irrational dream of Surrealism. Moreover, 
his choice of easel scale and his presentation of small 
images in a large landscape contrasts with the 
Abstract Expressionists' use of large marks or areas 
on monumental canvases. His is the Boschian or 
Miroesque cosmos of vast expanses inhabited by 
fantastic organisms. Gorky's dialogue with the mas- 
ters of the past such as Uccello, Ingres, Cezanne 
set the tone of his own art. His paintings are not 
topical statements, records of the present, but a 
vision of timeless, enduring tradition. Within this 
tradition, faithful to its values, Gorky created a new 
and original art. 

He loved art and willed painting in America in our 
time into existence as a statement of greatness. 

Diane Waldman 



60 



FOOTNOTES 



1. Karlen Mooradian, Arshile Gorky 
Adoian, Chicago, 1978, p. 112 

2. Ethel K. Schwabacher, Arshile 
Gorky, New York, 1957, p. 26 

3. Karlen Mooradian, "A Sister Re- 
calls: An Interview with Vartoosh 
Mooradian," Ararat : A Special Issue 
on Arshile Gorky, vol. 12, Fall 1971, 
p. 10 

4. Letter to Ethel Schwabacher, July 21, 
1951 

5. Mooradian, "A Sister Recalls," Ara- 
rat, 1971, p. 14 

6. Karlen Mooradian, "Remembrances 
of Gorky," Ararat: A Special Issue 
on Arshile Gorky, vol. 12, Fall 1971, 
p. 54 

7. Ibid. 

8. Ibid., p. 55 

9. Ibid. 

10. Mooradian, Arshile Gorky Adoian, 
1978, p. 13 

1 1 . Elaine de Kooning, "Gorky: painter 
of his own legend," Art News, vol. 
XLIX, January 1951, p. 41 

12. Mooradian, "A Sister Recalls," 
Ararat, 1971, p. 15 

13. Ibid. 

14. Daniel Robbins, Walter Murch: A 
Retrospective Exhibition, exh cat., 
Museum of Art, Rhode Island 
School of Design, Providence, 1966, 
pp. 21-23 

15. Interview with Vaclav Vytlacil, June 
1980 

16. Stuart Davis, "Handmaiden of 
Misery," Saturday Review, vol. 40, 
December 28, 1957, p. 17 

17. Ibid. 

18. Stuart Davis, "Arshile Gorky in the 
1930s: A Personal Recollection," 
Magazine of Art, vol. 44, February 
1951, p. 58 

19. Arshile Gorky, "Stuart Davis," 
Creative Art, vol. 9, September 1931, 
p. 213 

20. Julien Levy, Arshile Gorky, New 
York, 1966, p. 56 



21. Letter from Will Barnet, May 1, 1980 

22. Letter from Peter Busa, May 2, 1980 

23. Quoted in "Arshile Gorky Exhibits," 
The Art Digest, vol. 10, January 1, 
1936, p. 21 

24. Letter to Vartoosh, October 18, 1937. 
On deposit in Gorky file, Whitney 
Museum of American Art, New 
York 

25. Mooradian, "A Sister Recalls," 
Ararat, 1971, p. 18 

26. Schwabacher, Arshile Gorky, 1957, 
p. 48 

27. Francis V. O'Connor, "Arshile 
Gorky's Newark Airport Murals: 
The History of Their Making," 
Murals Without Walls, exh. cat., The 
Newark Museum, 1978, p. 22 

28. Ibid., p. 13 

29. Frederick T. Kiesler, "Murals With- 
out Walls: Relating to Gorky's 
Newark Project," Murals Without 
Walls, exh. cat., The Newark Mu- 
seum, 1978, p. 31 

30. Ibid. 

31. Stuart Davis, Magazine of Art, 
February 1951, p. 58 

32. Balcomb Greene, "Memories of 
Arshile Gorky," Arts Magazine, vol. 
50, March 1976, p. 110 

33. Letter from Agnes Gorky Phillips 
to Patricia Passloff in The 30's: 
Painting in New York, exh. cat., 
Poindexter Gallery, New York, June 
1957, n.p. 

34. Stuart Davis, Magazine of Art, 
February 1951, p. 57 

35. Greene, "Memories," Arts Maga- 
zine, March 1976, p. 110 

36. Karlen Mooradian, "The Letters of 
Arshile Gorky to Vartoosh, Moorad 
and Karlen Mooradian," Ararat: A 
Special Issue on Arshile Gorky,'''' vol. 
9, Fall 1971, p. 28 

37. Ibid., p. 29 

38. Schwabacher, Arshile Gorky, 1957, 
p. 66 



39. Mooradian, "The Letters of Arshile 
Gorky," Ararat, 1978, p. 34 

40. Grand Central School of Art Cata- 
logue, New York, 1942. Reprinted 
in Schwabacher, Arshile Gorky, 

1957, p. 82 

41. Levy, Arshile Gorky, 1966, p. 24 

42. Ibid. 

43. James Johnson Sweeney, "Five 
American Painters," Harper's Baz- 
aar, vol. 78, April 1944, p. 122 

44. Ibid. 

45. Andre Breton, "The Eye Spring: 
Arshile Gorky," Arshile Gorky, exh. 
cat., Julien Levy Gallery, New York, 
March 1945, n.p. 

46. Max Ernst, "Inspiration to Order," 
This Quarter, vol. V, September 1932, 
p. 8 

47. Mooradian, "The Letters of Arshile 
Gorky," Ararat, 1971, p. 27 

48. Ibid., p. 34 

49. Ibid. 

50. Ibid., p. 32 

51. Ibid. 

52. Ibid., p. 20 

53. Jerry Tallmer, "Watch that paint," 
New York Post, June 7, 1980, p. 13 

54. Letter to Ethel Schwabacher. On de- 
posit in Gorky file, Whitney Museum 
of American Art, New York 

55. Levy, Arshile Gorky, 1966, pp. 34-35 

56. William Rubin, "The New York 
School — Then and Now, Part II," 
Art International, vol. 2, May-June 

1958, p. 20 

57. Levy, Arshile Gorky, 1966, p. 34 

58. Ibid. 

59. Mooradian, Arshile Gorkv Adoian, 
1978, p. 208 

60. Mooradian, "The Letters of Arshile 
Gorky," Ararat, 1971, p. 39 

61. Levy, Arshile Gorky, 1966, p. 30 

62. Mooradian. "The Letters of Arshile 
Gorky," Ararat, 1971, p. 30 



61 



1. Park Street Church, Boston. 1924 
Oil on canvasboard, 16 x 12" 
Collection Lowell Art Association, 
Massachusetts, Gift of 
Katherine O'Donnell Murphy 





2. The Antique Cast. 1926 
Oil on canvas, 36 1/8 x 46" 
Private Collection 




Still Life with Skull, late 1920s 
Oil on canvas, 33 x 26" 
Private Collection 



4. Untitled {Landscape), late 1920s 
Oil on canvas, 21 1/2 x 17 1/4" 
Private Collection 





5. Untitled (Central Park). 1933-34 

Oil on canvas, 11 1/2 x 16" 

Private Collection, New York 



6. Landscape. 1933 

Oil on canvas, 24 3/4 x 21" 
Collection The Metropolitan 
Museum of Art, New York, Gift 
of Dr. Meyer A. Pearlman, 1964 




7. Landscape, Staten Island. 1927-28 
Oil on canvas, 32 1/8 x 34" 
Collection Richard Estes, New York 



Self-Portrait at the Age of Nine. ca. 1927 
Oil on canvas, 113/4x9 5/8" 
Collection Nicholas Wilder, Los Angeles 





9. Self-Portrait, ca. 1928-31 

Oil on canvas, 19 3/4 x 15 1/8" 
Collection Mr. and Mrs. E. A. Bergman 




10. Self-Port rait. 1933 

Pencil on paper, 29 1/2 x 22' 
Private Collection 















11. Self-Portrait. mid-1930s 
Pastel on paper, 13 x 11" 
Collection Mr. and Mrs. Harry W. Anderson 




12. Self-Portrait, ca. 1928-31 
Oil on canvas, 20 x 16" 
Private Collection 



13. Self- Portrait, ca. 1931 
Oil on canvas, 24 x 16" 
Los Angeles County Museum of Art: 
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Hans Burkhardt 




14. Still Life of Flowers. 1928 
Oil on canvas, 20 x 13 1/8" 
National Collection of Fine Arts, 
Smithsonian Institution, 
Washington, D.C., Gift of Mr. and 
Mrs. Nathan I. Bijur 





15. Pears, Peaches and Pitcher, late 1920s 
Oil on canvas, 17 1/4 x 23 5/8" 
Private Collection 



16. Still Life. 1927 

Oil on canvas, 20 1/8 x 24 1/4" 
Private Collection 




17. Still Life. 1928 

Oil on canvas, 21 x 16" 

Collection Dr. and Mrs. Donald R. Nielsen 




18. Still Life. 1934-35 

Oil and collage on canvas, 11 x 10" 
Private Collection 



19. Still Life with Pears. 1928 
Oil on canvas, 16 x 24" 
Courtesy Allan Stone Gallery, New York 




20. Still Life. ca. 1928 

Oil on canvas, 18 x 28" 

Collection Mrs. Joseph Douglas Weiss, 

Chappaqua, New York 



21. Composition with Vegetables. 1928 
Oil on canvas, 28 x 36" 
Gift of Mr. Erskine to The James 
and Mari Michener Collection; 
The University Art Museum, 
The University of Texas at Austin 




22. Still Life. ca. 1928 

Oil on canvas, 25 1/2 x 33 1/2" 
Collection Mrs. M. Victor Leventritt, 
New York 



23. Still Life. 1929-32 

Oil on canvas, 42 7/8 x 60 1/2' 
Private Collection 





24. Abstraction with Palette. 1930 
Oil on canvas, 47 1/2 x 35 1/2" 
Philadelphia Museum of Art: Given by Bernard Davis 



25. Untitled. 1931 

Lithograph, 13 x 11", edition 17/25 
Private Collection, New York 








26. Blue Figure in Chair, ca. 1931 
Oil on canvas, 48 x 38" 
Private Collection 




27. Head, early 1930s 

Gouache on cardboard, 12 1/2x8 3/4" 
Private Collection 




28. Painting, ca. 1932 

Oil on canvas, 38 1/2 x 30 1/2" 
Courtesy Sidney Janis Gallery, New York 



29. Untitled (Drawing from a 1931 Sketchbook), ca. 1931 
Pen and ink on paper, 12 3/4x9 1/2" 
Collection Julien Levy; Courtesy Richard L. Feigen & Co. 





30. Untitled (Drawing from a 1931 Sketchbook), ca. 1931 
Pen and ink on paper, 12 3/4 x 9 1/2" 
Collection Julien Levy; Courtesy Richard L. Feigen & Co. 



31. Untitled, ca. 1930-35 

Pencil on paper, 2 5/8x1 5/8" 

Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York; 

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Abraham L. Chanin 










32. Untitled, ca. 1930-35 

Pencil on paper, 2 3/8x1 3/8" 

Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York; 

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Abraham L. Chanin 




33. Untitled, ca. 1930-35 

Pencil on paper, 2 1/2 x 1 3/4" 

Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York; 

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Abraham L. Chanin 




34. Untitled, ca. 1930-35 

Pencil on paper (menu), 6 x 4" 
Collection Mr. and Mrs. Chaim Gross 




35. Figure Drawing, ca. 1930-35 

Pencil on paper, 24 1/2 x 18 1/4" 
Private Collection 




36. Study for Nighttime, Enigma and Nostalgia, ca. 1931-32 
Pencil on paper, 22 1/4 x 28 3/4" 
Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York; 
Gift of Richard S. Zeisler 



37. Untitled. 1932 

Pen and ink on paper, 14 7/8 x 21 1/4" 
Private Collection 



38. Study for Nighttime, Enigma and Nostalgia, ca. 1931-32 
India ink on paper, 12 3/4 x 21 3/4" 
Collection Mr. and Mrs. Philip Gersh, Beverly Hills 




39. Objects. 1932 

Pen, brush and ink on paper, 22 1/4 x 30" 
Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 
Vincent van Gogh Purchase Fund 




40. Forms, ca. 1931-32 

Pen and ink on paper, 18 3/16 x 24 5/16" 
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 
Gift of the Societe Anonyme 



41. Nighttime, Enigma and Nostalgia, ca. 1931-32 
India ink and sepia on paper, 21 5/8 X 28" 
Collection National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 
Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund 





42. Study for Nighttime, Enigma and Nostalgia, ca. 1932 
Pen and ink on paper, 28 1/2 x 38" 
Courtesy Sidney Janis Gallery, New York 



43. Nighttime, Enigma and Nostalgia. 1933-34 
Oil on canvas, 36 x 48" 
Private Collection 




44. Abstract Composition. 1931-32 
India ink on paper, 22 x 28 3/4" 
Collection The Art Institute of Chicago: 1968. 35 
The Grant J. Pick Memorial Fund 





45. Nighttime, Enigma and Nostalgia, ca. 1931 
Pen and ink on paper, 23 1/8 x 31 1/4" 
Collection Mr. and Mrs. E. A. Bergman 



-32 




46. Study for Nighttime, Enigma and Nostalgia, ca. 1932 
Pen and ink on paper, 19 3/4 x 28 1/4" 
Courtesy Sidney Janis Gallery, New York 



47. Composition. 1931-32 

Pen and ink on paper, 22 x 30 1/8" 
Private Collection 




'~f 



i* 





48. Untitled, ca. 1932-34 

Pencil on paper, 18 1/2 x 24" 
Private Collection 



49. Untitled, ca. 1932-34 

Ink and pencil on paper, 18 1/2 x 24 1/4" 
Private Collection 



50. Untitled (Study for a Mural), ca. 1931-32 
Pen and ink on paper, 9 1/2 x 29" 
Private Collection 

51. Untitled (Study for a Mural), ca. 1931-32 
Pen and ink on paper, 7 1/4 x 26" 
Courtesy Allan Stone Gallery, New York 






1 Yjfkg - WB^^fl V 
(JfjW OR 1 ^H B 

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3 




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52. Study for Image in Xhorkom. mid-1 930s 
Pencil on paper, 18 1/2 x 24 3/8" 
Private Collection 



53. Study for Image in Xhorkom. mid-1 930s 
Pencil on paper, 19 x 24" 
Courtesy Allan Stone Gallery, New York 




54. Untitled, ca. 1936 

Oil on canvas with superimposed ink drawing, 15 1/2 x 
Collection Christopher C. Schwabacher, New York 



23 1/2" 




55. Untitled, ca. 1938 

Pen and ink on paper, 25 1/2 x 19 1/2" 
Collection Dr. and Mrs. William Rattner, 
Huntington Woods, Michigan 



56. Untitled. 1932-34 

Pen and ink on paper, 14 x 17' 
Private Collection 



57. Untitled, ca. 1936 

Ink on paper, 14 1/2 x 10 1/2" 
Courtesy Allan Stone Gallery, 
New York 






■y^ 




fix 


Af 






*y 


J 


J 







% 










*%•■ 








58a, b,c. Three Drawings (After Le Nairi) (After Millet) 
(After Le Nain). mid- 1930s 
Pencil on paper, 7 1/2x4 1/4", 
9x6 1/2", 71/2x4 1/4" 
Collection Ethel K. Schwabacher, New York 




59. Untitled, mid- 1930s 

Gouache on paper, 8 1/4 x 23 1/4" 
Collection Ethel K. Schwabacher, New York 



60. Untitled, ca. 1933-34 

Pencil on paper, 11 1/2 x 9" 
Private Collection, New York 









61. Untitled (Head of a Woman). 1932-34 
verso of Nighttime. Enigma and Nostalgia 
Pen and ink on paper, 25 x 19" 
Courtesy Susanne Hilberry Gallery, 
Birmingham, Michigan 






62. Sealed Woman with Vase, mid- 1930s 
Oil on paperboard, 111/2x7 7/8" 
Collection Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 




63. Woman's Head. 1930s 

Oil on canvasboard, 12x9 1/8" 

Collection Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 



64. Portrait of Akko. ca. 1937 
Oil on canvas, 19 1/4 x 15" 
Private Collection 







65. Portrait of Myself and My Imaginary Wife, mid to late 1930s 
Oil on paperboard, 8 5/8 x 14 1/4" 
Collection Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 



66. Portrait of Vartoosh. mid to late 1930s 
Oil on canvas, 20 1/4 x 15 1/8" 
Collection Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 




67. Self-Portrait. 1931-33 
Oil on canvas, 10 x 8" 
Rebecca and Raphael Soyer Collection 




68. Vartoosh Mooradian. ca. 1935-36 
Pencil on paper, 12 1/4x9 1/2" 
Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 
The Kay Sage Tanguy Bequest 




69. Self-Portrait, ca. 1936 

Pencil on paper, 9x6 1/2" 

Collection Ethel K. Schwabacher, New York 




70. The Artist and His Mother, ca. 1936 
Pen and ink on paper, 8 5/8 x 11" 
Private Collection 



71. Study for Mother and Son. ca. 1936 
Pencil on paper, 8 x 7" 
Collection Mary Judith Kanner 




72. The Artist' s Mother. 1938 

Charcoal on paper, 24 x 18 1/2" 
Courtesy of The Art Institute of Chicago: 
1965. 510. The Worcester Sketch Collection 



73. Standing Figure, ca. 1936 

Pen and ink wash on paper, 11x8 1/2" 
Private Collection 




74. Portrait of The Artist and His Mother, ca. 1936 
Pencil on paper, 29 x 19" 
Collection National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund, 1979 




75. The Artist and His Mother. 1926-36 
Oil on canvas, 60 x 50" 

Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. 
Gift of Julien Levy for Maro and Natasha Gorky in memory of their father 




76. The Artist and His Mother, ca. 1929-42 
Oil on canvas, 60 x 50" 
Collection National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund 




77. Self- Portrait, ca. 1937 

Oil on canvas, 55 1/2 x 23 7/8" 
Private Collection 




78. Portrait of Master Bill. 1929-39 
Oil on canvas, 52 x 39 1/2" 
Private Collection 



79. Composition with Head. ca. 1934-36 
Oil on canvas, 78 x 62 1/4" 
Private Collection 




80. Still Life on the Table, ca. 1935 
Oil on canvas, 54 x 64" 
Private Collection 



81. Organization, ca. 1936 

Oil on canvas, 49 3/4 x 60" 

Collection National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 

Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund 








i J 





82. Study for Newark Airport Mural. 1935-36 
Pencil and pen and ink on paper, 5 7/8 X 23" 
Private Collection 

83. Study Related to Newark Airport and 
World's Fair Aviation Building Murals. 1935-36 
Gouache and crayon on paper, 5 7/8 x 23 7/8" 
Private Collection 



84. Sketch for Mural for Marine Transportation Building 
at New York World's Fair. 1938 
Tempera on cardboard, 9 x 44 1/2" 
Collection C. A. Muschenheim, Evanston, Illinois 



85. Untitled (Mural Study for Newark Airport), ca. 1935-36 
Oil on canvas, 30 x 35" 

Collection Grey Art Gallery and Study Center, 
New York University, Gift of Miss May E. Walter 





86. Study for a Mural for Administration Building, 
Newark Airport, New Jersey. 1935-36 
Gouache on paper, 13 5/8 x 29 7/8" 
The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Extended loan 
from the United States WPA Art Program 




87. Aerial Map. 1936-37 
Oil on canvas, 77 x 121" 

Newark International Airport Art Collection, The Port 
Authority of New York and New Jersey 



Mechanics of Flying. 1936-37 

Oil on canvas, 108 x 133" 

Newark International Airport Art Collection, The Port 

Authority of New York and New Jersey 




89. Portrait. 1936-38 

Oil on canvas, 29 1/2 x 23 5/8" 
Private Collection 




90. Abstraction, ca. 1936 

Oil on canvas, 34 1/4 X 26 1/4" 

Collection Ethel K. Schwabacher, New York 




91. Composition No. 5. 1933 

Oil on paperboard mounted on paperboard, 17 1/2 x 8 1/2' 
Collection Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 



92. Untitled. 1936 

Oil on canvas, 29 1/2 x 23 5/8" 
Private Collection 



Child of an Idumean Night. 1936 

Oil on burlap mounted on 

paperboard, 12 x 8 1/ 

Collection Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 




94. Battle at Sunset with God of the 
Maize, mid- 1930s 
Oil on canvas, 7 1/2x9 1/2" 
Collection Ethel K. Schwabacher, New York 



95. Battle at Sunset with God of 
the Maize. 1936 
Oil on canvas mounted on 
wood, 8 x 10 1/4" 
Collection Hirshhorn Museum 
and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian 
Institution, Washington, D.C. 



96. Untitled, mid-1930;, 

Pen and ink on paper, 5 x 6" 

Courtesy Allan Stone Gallery, New York 



97. Abstract Composition, ca. 1931 

Pen and ink on paper, 8 3/8x11 3/4" 

Collection Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Kainen, Washington, D.C. 




98. Untitled. mid-1930s 

Pen and ink on paper, 9 x 12" 
Courtesy Allan Stone Gallery, 
New York 




99. Image in Xhorkom. 1934-36 
Oil on canvas, 33 x 43 1/8" 
Private Collection 




100. Xhorkom. 1936 

Oil on canvas, 40 x 52" 
Private Collection 




101. Organization II. 1936-37 
Oil on canvas, 28 x 38" 
Private Collection 




102. Painting. 1936-37 

Oil on canvas, 38 x 48" 

Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York 




103. Grey Painting. 1937 

Oil on canvas, 29 1/8 x 40 1/8' 
Private Collection 




104. Enigmatic Combat, ca. 1936-37 
Oil on canvas, 35 3/4 x 48" 
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Gift of Jeanne Reynal 




105. Reclining Nude, late 1930s 

Pen and ink on paper, 4 3/4x6 3/4" 
Collection Mrs. Walter L. Portnoff, New York; 
Courtesy M. Knoedler & Co., Inc. 



106. Portrait of Leonora Portnoff. 1938-40 
Crayon on paper, 13 1/2 x 10 1/4" 
Private Collection 





107. Parthenon Horses, ca. 1939 
Pencil on paper, 6 7/16 x 9" 
Collection Fogg Art Museum, Harvard 
University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 
Purchase — Anonymous Fund for Acquisitions 



108. Portrait, late 1930s 

Pencil on paper, 10 3/4 x 9 3/4" 

Collection Mrs. Walter L. Portnoff, New York: 

Courtesy M. Knoedler & Co., Inc. 




- -r' 











, 



109. Portrait of David Burliuk. ca. 1940-41 
Pencil on paper, 12x8 1/2" 
Rebecca and Raphael Soyer Collection 



110. Portrait of a Woman, ca. 1941 
Pencil on paper, 24 3/4 x 19" 
Private Collection 



111. Portrait of a Man with Pipe. ca. 1943 
Pencil on paper, 12 1/2x9 1/2" 
Private Collection 




112. Untitled, ca. 1941 

Pen and ink on paper, 18 1/4 X 12" 
Private Collection 





■ me* 







113. Standing Woman with Folded Arms. 1941-42 
Pen and ink. on paper, 11 1/2 X 9 1/4" 
Private Collection 



114. Portrait of the Artist's Wife. 1943 

Pen and India ink with sepia and wash on paper, 13 3/4 x 9 1/4' 
The Baltimore Museum of Art, Thomas E. Benesch Memorial 
Collection 63.110 



115. Landscape. late 1920s 

Pencil on paper, 12 5/8 x 17 7/8" 
Private Collection 



116. Mountain Landscape, ca. 1942 
Sepia on paper, 10 1/8 x 14" 
On loan to The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
New York, from the Arthur Ross Foundation 




117. Still Life. 1939 

Oil on canvas, 20 x 16" 
Private Collection 



118. Bull in the Sun. 1942 

Gouache on paper, 18 1/2 x 24 3/4" 

Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York; 

Gift of George B. Locke 



19. Painting. 1938 

Oil on canvas, 18 1/8 x 28" 
Collection Dorothy C. Miller 




120. Argula. 1938 

Oil on canvas, 15 x 24" 

Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York; 

Gift of Bernard Davis 



121. Garden in Sochi. 1940-41 

Gouache on board, 22 x 28" 

Museum Purchase with bequest of C. Donald Belcher, 1977 

Permanent Collection of The High Museum of Art, Atlanta 




122. Untitled. 1940 

Watercolor and gouache on gessoed wood panel, 4x7 1/8' 
Collection Mr. and Mrs. Michael J. Berberian 
on loan to Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 



123. Garden in Sochi. 1941 

Gouache on paper, 13 3/4 x 17 3/4" 
Private Collection 




124. Garden in Sochi. 1941 

Oil on canvas, 44 1/4 x 62 1/4" 

Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Purchase 

Fund and gift of Mr. and Mrs. Wolfgang S. Schwabacher 




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125. Garden in Sochi. 1943 
Oil on canvas, 31 x 39" 

Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 
Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Foundation 





126. The Pirate 1. 1942 

Oil on canvas, 29 1/4 X 40 1/8" 

Collection Julien Levy; Courtesy Richard L. Feigen & Co. 




127. The Pirate II. 1943 

Oil on canvas, 30 x 36" 

Collection Julien Levy; Courtesy Richard L. Feigen & Co. 




128. Waterfall, ca. 1943 

Oil on canvas, 38 1/8 x 25 1/8" 

Collection Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 



129. Waterfall.cz. 1943 

Oil on canvas, 60 1/2 x 44 1/2" 

Collection The Trustees of the Tate Gallery, London 



130. Connecticut Sketch. 1943 

Pencil and crayon on paper, 13 x 17" 
Collection Mrs. Charles Abrams, New York 



131. Sochi. 1943 

Pencil and crayon on paper, 14 1/4 x 16 3/4" 
Collection Mr. and Mrs. Edmond Ruben, Minneapolis 




132. Landscape — Virginia. 1945 

Pencil and crayon on paper, 19 x 24" 
Collection Marilyn and Bernard Brodsky 




133. Untitled. 1943 

Pen and ink and pastel on paper, 17 1/4 x 23" 
Collection Mr. and Mrs. E. A. Bergman 




134. The Housatonic. 1943 

Ink and crayon on paper, 18 x 23 1/2" 
Private Collection 



135. Untitled. 1943 

Crayon, pen and ink and pencil on paper, 17 1/8 x 22 1/16" 
Private Collection 



136. Composition I. 1943 

Pencil, ink and wax crayon on paper, 18 1/2 x 24 1/2" 
Collection Ann Dunnigan 




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137. Untitled. 1943 

Pencil and crayon on paper, 19 1/2 x 25" 
Courtesy David Nisinson, Inc. 




138. Hoitsa tonic Falls. 1943-44 
Oil on canvas, 34 x 44" 
Private Collection 







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139. Golden Brown. mid-1940s 
Oil on canvas, 43 1/2 x 56" 
Collection Washington University, St. Louis 



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140. Landscape. 1943 

Pencil and crayon on paper, 20 1/4 x 27 3/8'' 
Private Collection 



141. Untitled. 1943-44 

Pencil on paper, 12 x 17 7/8" 
Private Collection 



142. Virginia Landscape. 1943 

Pencil and wax crayon on paper, 18 1/2 x 23 1/2" 
Private Collection 





143. Untitled {Landscape?). 1943 

Oil and pencil on canvas, 19 1/2 x 25" 

Contemporary Collection of The Cleveland Museum of Art 



144. Love of the New Gun. 1944 

Oil on canvas, 29 1/2 x 37 5/8" 
Menil Foundation Collection, Houston 




145. Composition II. 1943 

Pencil and wax crayon on paper, 22 3/4 x 29' 
Collection Barbara and Donald Jonas 










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146. Untitled. 1943 

Pencil and pastel on paper, 19 9/16 x 26 3/4" 

Collection Mrs. Satenig Avedisian 

on loan to Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 




147. Untitled. 1944 

Watercolor and pencil on paper, 19 3/4 x 26 1/2" 
Collection Mr. and Mrs. Michael de Havenon 




148. Anatomical Blackboard. 1943 

Pencil and wax crayon on paper, 20 1/4 x 27 3/8" 
Collection Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bareiss 



149. Good Afternoon, Mrs. Lincoln. 1944 
Oil on canvas, 30 x 38" 
Courtesy Allan Stone Gallery, New York 








150. Virginia Landscape. 1943 

Pastel and pencil on paper, 19 3/4 x 26 1/2" 
Private Collection 



151. Virginia Landscape. 1943 

Pencil and wax crayon on paper, 20 x 27" 
Private Collection 




152. Virginia Landscape. 1944 

Pencil and sargent crayon on paper, 19 x 25' 
Collection Stefan Edlis 



153. Virginia Pastel. 1943-44 

Pastel and crayon on paper, 20 1/4 x 27 1/2' 
Private Collection 



154. Drawing. 1943 

Pencil and wax crayon on paper, 22 x 27 1/4" 
Courtesy Allan Stone Gallery, New York 



155. Untitled. 1943 

Pencil and crayon on paper, 22 3/4 x 29" 
Courtesy of The Art Institute of Chicago: 1963. 571 
Gift of Ada Turnbull Hertle; Joseph R. Shapiro; 
Peter Bensinger; Helen Regenstein 



156. Untitled (Study for The Liver is the Cock's Comb [?]). 1943 
Pencil and crayon on paper, 20 3/4 x 27 1 1/16" 
Collection Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 



157. Untitled. 1943 

Wax crayon and pencil on paper, 20 x 26 3/4" 

Collection The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 

Gift, Rook McCulloch 77.2332 




158. Study for the Liver is the Cock's Comb. 1943 
Ink, pencil and crayon on paper, 19 x 25 1/2' 
Frederick Weisman Family Collection 



159. Carnival. 1943 

Crayon on paper, 22 x 28 3/4" 
Collection Mr. and Mrs. E. A. Bergman 




160. Water of the Flowery Mill. 1944 
Oil on canvas, 42 1/4 x 48 3/4" 

Collection The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 
George A. Hearn Fund, 1956 




161. The Liver is the Cock's Comb. 1944 
Oil on canvas, 72 x 98" 

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, 
Gift of Seymour H. Knox, 1956 




162. The Sun, The Dervish in the Tree. 1944 
Oil on canvas, 35 3/4 x 47" 
Collection Graham Gund 




163. To Project, To Conjure. 1944 
Oil on canvas, 35 3/4 x 46 3/4" 
Collection Sue and David Workman 



164. How My Mother's Embroidered Apron Unfolds in My Life. 1944 
Oil on canvas, 40 x 45" 
Collection Seattle Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Bagley Wright 





165. One Year the Milkweed. 1944 
Oil on canvas, 37 x 47" 

Collection National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 
Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund 



166. Drawing. 1943^44 

Pencil and crayon on paper, 17 x 23' 
Private Collection 



167. The Leaf of the Artichoke Is 
an Owl. 1944 
Oil on canvas, 28 x 36" 
Collection The Museum of 
Modern Art, New York; 
Fractional Gift of Sidney Janis 





168. Cornfield of Health II. 1944 

Oil on canvas, 30 1/8 x 37 3/4" 

Collection Nelson Gallery-Atkins Museum, Kansas City 

(Friends of Art Collection) 




169. Untitled. 1944 

Oil and pencil on canvas, 19 3/4 x 29 7/8" 
Collection Australian National Gallery, Canberra 



170. Apple Orchard. 1943^6 
Pastel on paper, 42 x 52" 
Private Collection 




171. Virginia Landscape. 1944 
Oil on canvas, 36 x 46 1/2" 
Collection American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., New York 




172. Theme for From a High Place. 1945 
Oil on canvas, 18 x 22" 
Collection American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., New York 



173. From a High Place. 1946 

Oil on canvas, 16 7/8 x 24 1/4" 
Private Collection 




174. Untitled. 1944 

Pencil and crayon on paper, 19 x 25" 
Collection Ethel K. Schwabacher, New York 




175. Drawing. 1944 

Pencil and crayon on paper, 18 3/4 x 24 3/4" 
Private Collection, Detroit 



176. Untitled. 1945 

Wash and pencil on paper, 18 1/2 x 24 1/2" 
Collection Washington Arts Consortium, 
Eastern Washington State Historical Society 



177. Untitled. 1944 

Pencil and crayon on paper, 19 1/4 x 24 1/4' 
Collection Dr. and Mrs. Martin L. Gecht 




178. Untitled. 1944 

Pencil and crayon on paper, 19 x 25" 

Collection Julien Levy; Courtesy Richard L. Feigen & Co. 




179. Untitled. 1944 

Pencil and wax crayon on paper, 19 1/4 x 25 3/8" 
Private Collection 




180. Study for They Will Take My Island. 1944 
Wax crayon and pencil on paper, 22 x 30" 
The Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund 




181. They Will Take My Island. 1944 
Oil on canvas, 38 x 48" 
Collection The Art Gallery of 
Ontario, Toronto; Purchase with 
Assistance from The Volunteer 
Committee Fund, 1980 



182. Painting. 1944 

Oil on canvas, 69 3/4 x 65 3/4" 

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation 




183. The Unattainable. 1945 

Oil on canvas, 41 5/8 x 29 1/4" 

Collection The Baltimore Museum of Art, Museum Purchase 




184. Impatience. 1945 

Oil on canvas, 24 x 36" 

Collection Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Kohl, Milwaukee 




185. Hugging. 1945 

Oil on canvas, 25 1/2 x 32 5/8" 
Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Lugano 



186. Diary of a Seducer. 1945 
Oil on canvas, 50 x 62" 
Collection Mr. and Mrs. William A.M. Burden 






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187. Drawing. 1946 

Pencil on paper, 18 7/8 x 24 7/8" 

Collection Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 

Gift of Julien Levy 



188. Landscape. 1945 

Pencil and crayon on paper, 18 5/8 x 24 3/4" 
Private Collection 




189. Landscape Table. 1945 
Oil on canvas, 36 x 48" 

Collection Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre National 
d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris 




190. Composition, ca. 1945-46 

Pen and ink on paper, 20 x 26" 
Private Collection 



191. Delicate Game. 1946 
Oil on canvas, 34 x 44" 
Collection Edwin Janss, Jr. 





192. Untitled, ca. 1945-46 

Ink and crayon on brown paper, 27 3/4 x 13" 
Collection Mr. and Mrs. E. A. Bergman 



194. Nude. 1946 

Oil on canvas, 50 1/8 x 38 1/8" 

Collection Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 



195. Charred Beloved I. 1946 

Oil on canvas, 58 5/8 x 39 3/4" 
Collection Gerald S. Elliott, Chicago 





196. Charred Beloved II. 1946 

Oil on canvas, 53 15/16 x 40" 

Collection National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa 



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197. Study for 77ie Betrothal, ca. 1946-47 

Pencil and crayon on paper, 24 x 18 1/2" 
Courtesy Xavier Fourcade, Inc., New York 




198. The Betrothal II. 1947 

Oil on canvas, 50 3/4 x 38" 

Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Purchase 




199. Study for The Betrothal, ca. 1946-47 

Watercolor and pencil on paper, 23 1/2 x 17 1/2" 
Collection Dr. and Mrs. L. Keoshian, California 




200. The Betrothal. 1947 

Oil on canvas, 50 5/8 x 39 1/4" 

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, The Katharine Ordway Collection 



201. Study for The Plough and the Song. 1944 
Pencil and crayon on paper, 19 x 25 1/2" 
Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, 
Friends of Art Fund, 56.1 



202. Study for The Plow and the Song. 1946 

Pencil, charcoal, crayon, pastel and oil on paper, 47 7/8 x 59 3/8" 
Collection National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Avalon Fund, 1971 




203. The Plough and the Song No. 2. 1946 
Oil on canvas, 51 7/8 x 61 3/8" 
Courtesy of The Art Institute of Chicago, 
Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Larned Coburn Fund, 1963 




204. The Plough and the Song. 1947 
Oil on canvas, 50 3/4 x 62 3/4" 
Collection Allen Memorial Art Museum, 
Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, R. T. Miller, Jr. Fund, 52.16 



205. The Plow and the Song. 1947 
Oil on burlap, 52 1/8 x 64 1/4" 
Collection Milton A. Gordon, New York 




206. Untitled, ca. 1946 

Pencil and crayon on paper, 
15 x 22 1/2" 
Collection Ethel K. 
Schwabacher, New York 



207. Untitled. 1946 

Pencil and crayon on paper, 
21 x 29" 
Private Collection 




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208. Fireplace in Virginia. 1946 
Pencil and crayon on paper, 
21 3/4 x 29 1/2" 
Private Collection 



209. Untitled. 1945^6 

Pencil and crayon on paper, 
17 x 21 7/8" 
Private Collection 



210. Study for The Calendars. 1946 

Charcoal and chalk on paper mounted on board, 33 x 40 1/2" 

Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, 

Cambridge, Massachusetts, Gift— Mrs. Culver Orswell 



211. Making the Calendar. 1947 
Oil on canvas, 34 x 41" 

Collection Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, 
Utica, New York, Edward W. Root Bequest 




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212. Year After Year. 1947 
Oil on canvas, 34 x 39" 
Collection Mr. and Mrs. Gifford Phillips, New York 




213. Plumage Landscape. 1947 
Oil on canvas, 38 x 51" 
Collection Australian National Gallery, Canberra 



214. Untitled (Drawing for Agony). 1946 
Pencil and wax crayon on paper, 
18 1/8 x 23 5/8" 

Collection The Solomon R. Guggenheim 
Museum, New York, 
Gift of Rook McCulIoch, 1978 78.2516 



215. Untitled, ca. 1946 

Pencil and pastel on paper, 

24 1/8 x 18 3/4" 

Collection Mrs. Satenig Avedisian 

on loan to Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 













216. Study for Agony, ca. 1946 
Pencil and crayon on paper, 
13 x 19" 

Collection Steingrim Laursen, 
Copenhagen 



217. Study for Agony. 1947 

Crayon and pencil on paper, 19 x 24" 

Collection Mr. and 
Mrs. S.I. Newhouse, Jr. 





218. Study for Agony I. 1946-47 

Pencil, crayon and wash on paper, 21 3/4 x 29 1/2" 
Collection Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, Houston 




219. Study for Agony. 1947 
Oil on canvas, 36 x 48" 
Private Collection 



220. Agony. 1947 

Oil on canvas, 40 x 50 1/2" 

Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 

A. Conger Goodyear Fund 




221. Untitled. 1946 

Pencil and wax crayon on paper, 22 1/2 x 28' 
Private Collection 






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222. Pastoral. 1947 

Pencil on paper, 19 x 25" 
Private Collection 



223. Untitled, ca. 1946 

Wash, ink, watercolor, pencil and wax crayon 
on paper, 18 1/8 x 23 3/4" 

Collection The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
New York, Gift of Rook McCulloch 76.2276 



224. Untitled. 1946 

Pen, pencil and wash on paper, 18 1/2 x 24 1/2' 
Private Collection 




225. Grey Drawing (Pastorale). 1946-47 
Charcoal on paper, 50 1/2 x 62" 
Private Collection 



226. A Fireplace in Virginia, ca. 1946 

Pen, pencil and wash on paper, 12 1/2 x 9 1/2" 
Collection Duncan MacGuigan, New York 



227. Pastorale. 1947 

Oil on canvas, 44 x 56" 
Private Collection 





228. Untitled, ca. 1946 

Pencil, pastel and wash on paper, 

18 3/4 x 24 5/16" 

Collection Mrs. Satenig Avedisian 

on loan to Museum of Fine Arts, 

Boston 




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231. Untitled. 1946 

Pencil and crayon on paper, 19 x 24" 
Courtesy Sidney Janis Gallery, New York 



232. Untitled. 1946 

Pencil and crayon on paper, 18 1/2 x 24 1/2 
Collection Julien Levy; Courtesy 
Richard L. Feigen & Co. 




233. Virginia — Summer. 1946 

Pencil and crayon on paper, 18 x 24" 
Private Collection 







234. Summer. 1946 

Pencil and crayon on paper, 18 7/8 x 23 5/8" 
Private Collection 



235. Untitled, ca. 1946 

Pencil on paper, 18 1/2 x 25 5/8" 

Collection The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 

New York, Gift of Rook McCulloch 79.2575 





236. Study for The Orators, ca. 1947 

Pencil and sargent crayon on paper, 19 x 24 1/2' 
Private Collection 



237. Study for The Orators. 1946-47 
Pencil on paper, 18 3/4 x 24 1/2" 
Private Collection 



238. The Orators. 1947 

Oil on canvas, 60 x 72" 
Private Collection, New York 












239. Abstraction. 1946 

Pen and ink and crayon on paper, 18 1/2 x 24 3/8" 
Courtesy of Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington 

240. Composition II. 1946 

Pencil and crayon on paper, 18 7/8 x 25 1/4" 
Collection The Baltimore Museum of Art 




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241. Pink Drawing. 1946 

Pencil and crayon on paper, 19 x 25' 
Private Collection 



242. Study for Dark Green Painting. 1946 
Pencil and crayon on paper, 19 x 24" 
Private Collection 




243. Srent of Apricots. 1947 
Oil on canvas, 31 x 44" 

Collection Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Randall Shapiro, 
Oak Park, Illinois 



244. Dark Green Painting, ca. 1948 
Oil on canvas, 43 7/8 x 55 7/8" 
Philadelphia Museum of Art: 
Lent by Mr. and Mrs. H. Gates Lloyd 










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245. Study for Summation. 1946 

Crayon and pencil on paper, 18 1/2 x 24 1/2" 

Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Wolfgang S. Schwabacher 

246. Study for Summation. 1946 

Pencil and colored chalk on paper, 18 1/2 x 24 3/8" 
The Museum of Modern Art, New York; 
The Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection 




247. Summation. 1947 

Pencil, pastel and charcoal and paper mounted 
on composition board, 79 5/8 x 101 3/4" 
Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York; 
Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Bunshaft Fund 



248. The Limit. 1947 

Oil on paper mounted on burlap, 50 3/4 x 62 1/2' 
Private Collection 





249. Last Painting. 1948 

Oil on canvas, 30 3/4 x 39 3/4" 
Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Lugano 




250. Armenian Plows. 1944, 1945, 1946 
Wood 
Mooradian Collection 



Chronology 



1904 
April 15 



September 



1906 
September 27 

1908 



1908-1909 
1909-1910 



ca. 1910-1913 



1910 
Summer 



Born Vosdanik Adoian in village of 
Khorkom, Vari Haiyotz Dzor (literally 
"Lower Vale of the Armenians"), pro- 
vince of Van, east Armenia. Van center 
of ancient Armenian culture; renowned 
for its manuscript and wall paintings, 
architecture and sculpture. 

First son of Sedrak Adoian (1863-1947), 
trader and sometime carpenter, and 
Shushanik der Marderosian (1880— 
1919), descended from fifth-century 
Armenian Apostolic Church priests. 
Named for mother's ancestral home- 
town of Vosdan. Later received as 
middle name Manuk (or Manook) in 
honor of paternal grandfather, in ac- 
cordance with Armenian tradition. 
Older stepsister Akabi (Ahko) (1896- 
1971) and sister Satenik (born 1901). 



Sister Vartoosh born. Gorky remains 
close to her throughout his life. 

Father emigrates to United States, set- 
tling in Providence, Rhode Island, to 
escape draft into Turkish army which 
forces Armenians to fight fellow coun- 
trymen. 

Vosdanik reportedly speaks for first 
time under tutelage of cousin Kevork 
Kondakian. 

Begins to draw and carve. 

Attends St. Vardan's Armenian Aposto- 
lic School in Khorkom; studies drawing, 
writing and vernacular Armenian. 
Learns classical Armenian (Grabar) 
from mother. 

Turkish nationalist ideology emerges; 
Armenians resist Turkification. 



Vosdanik attends funeral of maternal 
grandmother Lady Hamaspiur, pur- 
portedly source for The Orators, 1947 
(cat. no. 238). 



November 



1912 



1914 
Summer 

October 31 

November 



1915 
April 24 

June 15 



June 23 
June 25 



Adoians move to Van city; rent single- 
room apartment in walled city center. 
Akabi (now married to Mkrdich Am- 
erian) lives nearby. 

Vosdanik and Satenik attend Husisian 
School, affiliated with Armenian Ap- 
ostolic Church. 

Family moves to suburb of Aikesdan. 
Vosdanik and Vartoosh attend The 
American Mission School, founded by 
Congregational Church of America, 
from now until 1915. 

Vosdanik meets Manuk (Moorad) 
Mooradian, who becomes close friend 
and later marries Vartoosh. 

In Van city, Vosdanik and mother pose 
for photograph to send to father in 
Providence; picture later source for 
The Artist and His Mother, 1926-36, and 
1929-42 (cat. nos. 75, 76). 



With advent of World War I, Turkish 
government intensifies persecution of 
Armenians and readies genocide cam- 
paign. 

Turks enter war as allies of Germany. 

Turkish Army begins siege of Van 
(center of Armenian independence 
movement) ; Aikesdan, including Adoian 
home, shelled. Family takes shelter in 
east Aikesdan. 



Official beginning of massacres and mass 
deportations of Armenians. 

Adoians evacuate Van with thousands 
of compatriots on eight-day, 100-mile 
journey on foot to frontier of Caucasian 
Armenia. Few survive these death 
marches. 

Family reaches Igdir. 

They arrive in Ejmiadzin; stay three 
weeks. 



255 



July 16 



1916 

October 9 
1918 

May 28 



August 18 



December 18 

1919 

March 20 
May 

August 

September 



1920 
January 25 

February 9 



February 26 
March 1 



Adoians reach Erevan (now Yerevan) 
in Caucasian Armenia and establish 
residence. Vosdanik attends Temagan 
Boy's School; to help support family, 
works at carpentry, comb carving and 
printing. 

By year's end Turks exterminate about 
1,500,000 Armenians. 



Akabi and Satenik emigrate to America. 



Declaration of independence of short- 
lived Armenian republic. Economic con- 
ditions catastrophic; refugees experience 
severe famine and deprivation in winter 
of 1918-19. 

Threat of civil war forces Adoians to 
leave Yerevan for Tiflis. Lady Shusha- 
nik becomes critically ill from mal- 
nutrition, and family is forced to 
suspend journey only eight miles from 
Yerevan; they stay in Shahab in partial- 
ly roofless one-room hut. 



April 



Mother's condition 
returns to Yerevan. 



worsens; family 



Lady Shushanik dies at age thirty-nine. 

Vosdanik and Vartoosh travel with 
family friend Kertza Dikran to Tiflis. 

Vosdanik and Vartoosh go to Batum on 
Black Sea; remain three weeks. 

Children sail to Constantinople; live in 
tents provided for Armenian refugees in 
Haidar Pasha. Befriended by Sedrak and 
Verghinay Kelekian, who take them 
in; Kelekians' son buys them tickets to 
United States. 



Children leave Constantinople by 
merchant ship for Athens, remaining 
fifteen days at port city of Patras. 

Depart Patras for America, via one-day 
stop in Naples, aboard Italian liner 
S.S. Presidente Wilson. List of Manifest 
of Alien Passengers for United States 
Immigration Officer at Port of Arrival 
includes no. 2 Manouk and no. 3 
Vartanouche Adoian, students. 

Arrive Ellis Island, New York; detained 
for three days. 

Vosdanik and Vartoosh officially ad- 
mitted to United States; met by Akabi's 
husband who takes them to Water- 
town, Massachusetts, to stay at family 
home on Coolidge Hill Avenue. 



1921 
January-June 



Summer 



Fall 



Winter 1922-1924 



1924 
Spring 



Late 1924 

1925 
Januaiy 9 



Vosdanik goes to Providence, Rhode 
Island, to stay with father, whom he 
sees for first time in twelve years. 

John Graham, born Ivan Dombrovski, 
arrives in New York from Russia via 
Warsaw. 



According to records of Rhode Island 
Superintendent of Schools, Manoog 
Adoian, born March 15, J903, enrolled 
in Bridgham Junior High School in 
Providence, having previously attended 
Old Beacon Street School. Father listed 
as Hagop Adoian (possibly Gorky's 
stepbrother); address listed as 207 Pond 
Street, later changed to 22 Cranston 
Street. 

Leaves Providence and returns to 
Amerian residence in Watertown at 86 
Dexter Avenue. 

Vosdanik and Vartoosh employed at 
Hood Rubber Co., probably through 
Mkrdich Amerian who works there; 
Vosdanik fired after two months for 
drawing on frames in which shoe soles 
are transported. 

Visits Providence briefly and studies at 
Technical High School there. 

Attends New School of Design, 248 
Boylston Street, Boston, directed by 
Douglas John Connah, portrait painter 
and illustrator. Frequents museums; 
washes dishes in a restaurant for his 
meals. 



Earliest known painting, Park Street 
Church (cat. no. 1), executed during 
recesses at New School of Design, signed 
"Gorky, Arshele": first appearance of 
pseudonym. Variant spellings Archele, 
Archel and Gorki, used prior to ca. 
1932 when he begins consistently to 
employ Arshile Gorky. 

Employed as assistant instructor of life- 
drawing class at New School of Design, 
his first teaching experience. 

Andre Breton's first Surrealist Manifesto 
published in Paris. J.B. Neumann es- 
tablishes New Art Circle Gallery, New 
York. Shows Arp, Alexander Calder, 
Kandinsky, Klee, Max Weber and 
others. 

Moves to New York City. 



Enrolls at National Academy of Design 
in New York as day student in life-draw- 
ing class with Charles Hawthorne. 
Address on application is 1680 Broad- 
way; date and place of birth given as 



256 



January 
October 



1926 



January 7-30 



January 



August 15 



September 



November 



April 1902 in Kazan, Russia. Leaves 
Academy after one month. 

Probably attends New York branch of 
the New School of Design Inc. at 1680 
Broadway, address he had given as his 
own. School moves to 145 East 57th 
Street in 1926. Mark Rothko says 
"Gorky was the monitor of the class in 
which I was enrolled." 

Visits Boston briefly. 

Enters Grand Central School of Art, 
New York, as student. Shortly there- 
after made instructor of sketch class. 

The Daniel Gallery, New York, Blue 
Four: Feininger, Klee, Kandinsky, 
Jawlensky. 



The Art Center, New York, Memorial 
Exhibition of Representative Works 
Selected for the John Quinn Collection. 
Includes Braque, Cezanne, Derain, 
Ingres and Picasso. 

First issue of Cahiers d'Art, founded by 
Christian Zervos, published in Paris: 
important link for American artists to 
European avant-garde. In 1926 articles 
appear on de Chirico, Leger, Miro, 
Picasso and others. 

Willem de Kooning arrives in United 
States from Rotterdam and settles in 
Hoboken. 

Appointed full member of faculty of 
Grand Central School of Art by Ed- 
mund Greacen, Director, to instruct 
evening Life and Antique classes. Re- 
mains on faculty until 1931. As recorded 
in "Fetish of Antique Stifles Art Here, 
Says Gorky Kin" in The New York 
Evening Post, September 15, "he is a 
cousin of the famous writer, Maxim 
Gorky," his studio is on West 50th 
Street and he believes "Cezanne is the 
greatest artist . . . that has lived." 



Poem "Thirst" published in 
Central School of Art Quarterly. 



Grand 



November 19, 1926- The Brooklyn Museum, An International 
January 1, 1927 Exhibition of Modern Art. Organized by 

Societe Anonyme. 307 works by artists 
from twenty-three countries, including 
Arp, Braque, de Chirico, Kandinsky, 
Klee, Miro and Picasso. First showing 
of Duchamp's Large Glass. Ninety-one 
of these paintings shown at Anderson 
Galleries, New York, 44th Exhibition 
of the Societe Anonyme, January 25- 
February 5, 1927. 

December 18-31 Durand-Ruel Gallery, New York, Ex- 
hibition of Paintings by The Impres- 
sionists. 

Paints Post-Impressionist and Cezan- 



1926 



1927 
April 23 

April 



December 12 



December 27 



ca. 1927 



1928 

January 23- 
February 11 



January 28 



February 10- 
March 3 



nesque still lifes, landscapes and por- 
traits (see cat. nos. 3-9, 15); works from 
antique casts, for example The Antique 
Cast, 1926 (cat. no. 2). 

Edith Gregory Halpert establishes The 
Downtown Gallery to promote work of 
American modernists. Shows Stuart 
Davis, Reuben Nakian, Max Weber 
and others. 

Hans Burkhardt enrolls in Gorky's 
class at Grand Central School of Art; 
continues to study with him privately 
until 1937. Nathan Bijur takes instruc- 
tion from Gorky; studies with him until 
1929. 



Frick Collection buys Ingres' Mme de 
Haussonville, 1845. 

First issue of Transition published in 
Paris: devoted to contemporary liter- 
ature, drama, cinema, art; subsequent 
number includes first English transla- 
tion of poems by Paul Eluard. Repro- 
ductions of de Chirico, Masson, Miro 
appear in late 1920s, early 1930s. 

The Gallery of Living Art, New York 
University, opens at Washington 
Square. Albert E. Gallatin's collection 
of works by artists "living or recently 
deceased," including Braque, de Chirico, 
Miro and Picasso. 

Wildenstein & Co., New York, Drawings 
by Picasso. 

Begins romance with Armenian model 
Sirun Mussikian; meets fellow Armeni- 
an Raoul Hague through her. 

Meets Saul Schary, who becomes life- 
long friend. 

De Kooning moves to New York; lives 
in Greenwich Village. 

Takes studio at 47a Washington Square 
South, at corner of Sullivan Street. 



Valentine Gallery, New York, De 
Chirico. First one-man show in United 
States. 

Wildenstein & Co., New York, Loan 
Exhibition of Paintings by Paul Cezanne 
under the auspices of Mrs. Chester Dale. 

Arts Council Gallery, New York, 50th 
Exhibition of the Societe Anonyme. In- 
cludes de Chirico, Stuart Davis, Kan- 
dinsky, Klee, Leger. 

Walter Murch takes Gorky's life class 
at Grand Central School of Art; sub- 
sequently studies privately with him for 
two years. 



257 



1928-1929 
Late 1920s 



1929 
January 

November 8 



1930 

January 18- 
March 2 



April 11-26 



July 1 



October 1- 
November 1 

October 20- 
November 8 



Meets John Graham. 

Paints Synthetic Cubist still lifes after 
Braque and Picasso (see cat. nos. 19, 
21, 22). 

Meets David Burliuk. 

De Kooning meets Graham and, 
through him, Gorky. 



Gallery of Living Art, New York 
[Group Exhibition]. Includes Braque, 
Cezanne, de Chirico, Gris, Klee, Leger 
Matisse, Miro and Picasso. 

The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, opens with First Loan Exhibition: 
Cezanne, Gauguin, Seurat, Van Gogh. 

Introduced to Stuart Davis by Graham; 
the three become close friends. Meets 
Sidney Janis, introduces him to Davis, 
Graham and de Kooning. 



The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, Painting in Paris. Includes 
fifteen Picassos, eleven Matisses, several 
de Chiricos, Legers and Miros. First 
showing in United States of Picasso's 
Seated Woman, 1927 (fig. 15). 

The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, An Exhibition of Works by 46 
Painters and Sculptors Under 35 Years 
of Age. Gorky's first group exhibition. 
Catalogue reads: 

Archele Gorki 

Born 1903, Nizhu-Novgorod 

Studied there and in Tiflis and three 

months under Kandinsky in 1920. To 

America 1922 .... 

81. Still Life 

82. Still Life 

Courtesy the J.B. Neumann Gal- 
lery, New York 

83. Still Life [cat. no. 20] 
Collection Nathan Bijur, New 
York 

Still Life (cat. no. 81, above) returned 
to Gorky at 47a Washington Square 
South. 

John Becker Gallery, New York [Picasso 
Drawings and Gouaches]. 

Valentine Gallery, New York, Joan 
Mird. First one-man exhibition in 
United States. 

Meets David Smith through John 
Graham ; meets Chaim Gross. 

Picasso's neoclassical Ovid's Metamor- 
phoses etchings reproduced in Cahiers 
d'Art, no. 10. 



Early 1930s 

1931 

January 



January 1- 
February 10 



February 3-21 
February 



May 17- 
September 27 



June 2-22 



September 3 



October 5-25 

October 
November 18 

November 



December 7-3 1 



Graham begins yearly trips to Paris, 
becomes friendly with Picasso, Andre 
Breton, Eluard. Keeps friends in New 
York abreast of artistic developments in 
Europe. 

Moves to new studio at 36 Union 
Square; he keeps it for remainder of life. 



Valentine Gallery, New York, Ab- 
stractions of Picasso. 

Societe Anonyme, New York, Special 
Exhibition Arranged in Honor of the 
Opening of the New Building of the New 
School for Social Research. Gorky's 
first exhibition with Societe Anonyme; 
shows Improvisation. 

Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York, 
Fernand Leger. 

Tristan Tzara's article on Picasso's 
collages published in Cahiers d'Art, vol. 
6, no. 2. Gorky begins own collages 
shortly thereafter. 

The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, Memorial Exhibition: The Col- 
lection of the Late Miss Lillie P. Bliss. 
Includes Cezanne, Gauguin, Matisse 
and Picasso. 

The Downtown Gallery, New York, 
Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings, Sculp- 
tures by Leading Contemporary American 
Artists. Gorky shows Still Life. 

"Stuart Davis," critical appraisal of 
this artist's work, written by Gorky at 
Davis' request, published in Creative 
Art, vol. 9. Here Gorky states: "Has 
there in six centuries been better art 
than Cubism? No. Centuries will go 
past — artists of gigantic stature will 
draw positive elements from Cubism." 

The Downtown Gallery, New York, 
Artists' Models: Figure Paintings by 
Leading Contemporary American Artists. 
Gorky shows Head. 

John Becker Gallery, New York, Leger. 

Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, opens. 

Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, 
Newer Super-Realism. First major Sur- 
realist exhibition in United States. 
Travels to Julien Levy Gallery, New 
York, as Surrealist Group Show, Janu- 
ary 9-29, 1932. Includes Joseph Cornell, 
de Chirico, Dali, Ernst, Masson, Miro 
and Picasso. 

The Downtown Gallery, New York, 
American Print Makers: Fifth Annual 
Exhibition. Gorky shows three litho- 
graphs, priced at twelve dollars each: 



258 



Painter and Model (cat. no. 25); Man- 
nikin; Self Portrait . 

December 28-31 Valentine Gallery, New York. Since 
Cezanne. Includes Braque, Leger, Miro, 
Picasso and others. 

Starts sketchbook of neoclassical figures 
similar to those of Picasso of 1920s. 

Meets Dorothy Miller and Holger 
Cahill, who study painting with him 
briefly; he primarily lectures from books 
on David, Ingres, Copley. 



ca. 1931-1932 



1932 

January 17- 
February 11 

February 1-20 



Winter 



Begins Nighttime, Enigma and Nostalgia 
drawings, influenced by de Chirico, 
Picasso and Uccello. 



Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, 
Andre Masson. 

Valentine Gallery, New York, Fernand 
Leger. 

Urges Julien Levy to see Graham's 
work; Graham in turn suggests he look 
at Gorky's drawings. Gorky tells Levy: 
"I was with Cezanne for a long time, 
and now naturally I am with Picasso." 
Levy replies he will give him an ex- 
hibition "someday, when you are with 
Gorky." (Julien Levy, Memoir of an 
Art Gallery, New York, 1977, p. 238) 



March 3 Gorky and Professor Frank Jewett 

Mather, Jr., of Princeton, deliver lec- 
tures, "Two Views on Modern Art," at 
Wells College, Aurora, New York. 

May 10 Vartoosh and husband Moorad return 

to Armenia. Gorky, who cannot afford 
to accompany them, corresponds reg- 
ularly. 

Spring Special Picasso issue of Cahiers d'Art, 

vol. 7, no. 3-5. 

October Zervos publishes first volume of Picasso 

catalogue raisonne. Twenty-eight more 
volumes follow 1932-74. 

November 1-25 Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, 

Miro. 

November 22- Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, 

December 15 Henri Matisse. Fifty drawings. 

November 26- Julien Levy Gallery, New York, Etch- 

December 30 ings by Pablo Picasso. Illustrations for 

Balzac's Le Chef-d'Oeuvre Inconnu, 

published in 1931. 

Gorky's Objects, 1932 (cat. no. 39), 
illustrated in no. 3 of Abstraction- 
Creation Art Non-Figuratif, magazine 
of international artists' association of 
same name founded in Paris in 1931. 

Wilmington Society of Fine Arts, Exhi- 



1932-1933 

1933 

March 6- April 1 

December 20 



December 20 



December 29, 1933- 
January 18, 1934 



bition of Russian Painting and Sculpture. 
Gorky shows Composition and Portrait. 

Meets Isamu Noguchi. 



Valentine Gallery, New York, Picasso. 

Joins Public Works of Art Project 
(PWAP), government agency which aids 
unemployed artists. Paid average of 
$37.38 per week. 

Submits written proposal for mural to 
PWAP: sketch will be pen and ink and 
measure 30 x 123" 



Pierre Matisse Gallery, 
Joan Miro: Paintings. 



Late 1933- 
Early 1934 



1934 
January 



January 10- 
February 9 

February 2-15 



February 28- 
March 28 



March 7 



New York, 



Leger's The City, 1919, reproduced in 
Cahiers d'Art, no. 3^1; style and icono- 
graphy probably influenced Newark 
Airport murals, specifically panel 
Activities on the Field, 1936. 

Begins friendship with Peter Busa; 
meets Reuben Nakian, who is of Ar- 
menian descent. 

Meets fellow artist and neighbor Jacob 
Kainen, who sits for portrait. Remain 
friends until Kainen moves to Washing- 
ton, D.C. in 1942. 



Ethel Schwab'acher and Mina Metzger 
begin private study with Gorky three 
hours a day, three days a week ; continue 
through summer 1935. Gorky often 
takes them to Metropolitan Museum to 
draw after Old Masters. 



Pierre Matisse 
Joan Mir 6. 



Gallery, New York, 



Mellon Galleries, Philadelphia, Arshile 
Gorky. First one-man exhibition. In- 
cludes thirty-seven numbered, untitled 
paintings from 1926-30. Checklist with 
statements by Stuart Davis, Harriet 
Janowitz, F.J. Kiesler and Holger 
Cahill, who writes that Gorky has "an 
extraordinary inventiveness and fertility 
in creating special arrangements, both 
precise and harmonious and he con- 
tributes to contemporary American ex- 
pression a note of intellectual fantasy 
which is very rare in the plastic art of 
this country." 

The Forum, RCA Building, Rockefeller 
Center, New York, First Municipal Art 
Exhibition. Sponsored by Mayor Fiorel- 
lo La Guardia. Gorky shows Organiza- 
tion No. 4 (oil), Nighttime of Nostalgia 
(pen and ink), Kiss (lithograph). 

Submits progress report to PWAP, 
indicating his mural is to be titled 1934, 
and is suitable for installation in uni- 



259 



April 29 

April 29-May 27 



November 



November 21- 
December 10 

December 25 



1935 

January 10- 
February 9 

February 12- 
March 22 



versities, technical or engineering 
schools or in the New York Port 
Authority. 

Dropped from PWAP roster; PWAP 
dissolves on June 30. 

Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, 
Andre Masson. 

Artists' Union formed in New York, 
with local chapters elsewhere, "to unite 
all artists ... in their struggle for 
economic security and to encourage a 
wider distribution and understanding of 
art." ([Preamble to Artists' Union Con- 
stitution], Art Front, no. 1, November 
1934) Calls for non-discriminatory per- 
manent Federal Art Project to employ 
needy artists and for establishment of 
Municipal Art Center in New York. 

Gorky joins Artists' Union but will not 
participate in political activism. Bal- 
comb Greene recalls: "He attended 
Union meetings, served on committees, 
and spoke with much feeling on many 
issues. He considered it his mission to 
instill into the rank and file of the 
organization a respect for art and a 
suspicion of the political adventurer. 
He would gain the floor on the most 
inauspicious occasions and declaim 
about the contours of Ingres ... he 
seemed to give the impression that Ingres 
might at any moment lend his support 
to the cause." ("Memories of Arshile 
Gorky," Arts Magazine, vol. 50, March 
1976, pp. 109-110) 

Gorky's lack of political commitment 
causes termination of friendship with 
Stuart Davis. 

Art Front, official organ of Artists' 
Union and Artists' Committee for 
Action, begins publication, continues 
until December 1937. Contains repro- 
ductions of art works, reviews, criticism, 
reports on Union activities. 

Julien Levy Gallery, New York, Paint- 
ings by Salvador Dali. 

Vartoosh and Moorad return from 
Armenia; stay briefly with Gorky at 36 
Union Square. 



Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, 
Joan Mird 1933-34. 

Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, Abstract Painting in America. 
Catalogue by Ethel Schwabacher. 
Gorky shows Composition no. 1; Com- 
position no. 2; Composition no. 3; 
Organization. 

Gorky, Stuart Davis, Graham, de 



Kooning, Edgar Levy and Mischa Res- 
nikoff had informed Whitney that they 
would exhibit only if all were included. 
However, Davis and Gorky alone were 
shown; Gorky claims his work was sent 
without his knowledge. 

March 25 Son Karlen born to Vartoosh and 

Moorad in Boston. 

April 5-24 The Arts Club of Chicago, Sidney Jam's 

Collection of Modern Paintings. Gorky 
shows Composition, 1932. Also in- 
cludes Dali, de Chirico, Gris, John 
Kane, Klee, Leger, Matisse, Mondrian 
and Rousseau. 

July Applies to Emergency Relief Bureau for 

home relief; receives $24 per week. 

August Works Progress Administration/Federal 

Art Project (WPA/FAP) established 
(Holger Cahill, Director). Consists of 
Easel, Mural, Graphic, Sculpture Divi- 
sions. Most extensive of New Deal art 
relief programs. 

Gorky assigned to Mural Division 
(Burgoyne Diller, Director), at $103.40 
per month. Begins Aviation mural de- 
signs for Floyd Bennett Field; these are 
to incorporate photographs by Wyatt 
Davis, brother of Stuart. 

Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York 
[Andre Masson]. 

September-October Boyer Galleries, Philadelphia. One-man 
exhibition of pen and ink drawings. 

Lectures on abstract painting at Boyer 
Galleries in conjunction with exhibition. 

Vartoosh, Moorad and Karlen come 
to live with Gorky; remain until late 
1936. 



September 30- 
October 24 

October 



November 24 



November 19- 
December 21 



The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, Fernand Leger. 

Guild Art Gallery, New York [Group 
Exhibition]. Gallery's inaugural show. 
"Archile Gorky's handsome abstract 
decoration . . . may be said to domi- 
nate the show." {The New York Times, 
October 13, 1935, p. X 19) 

Delivers lecture "Methods, Purposes 
and Significance of Abstract Art" at 
Guild. 

Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, 26 
Works by Giorgio de Chirico. 



December 16, 1935- Guild Art Gallery, New York, Ab- 
January 5, 1936 stract Drawings by Arshile Gorky. In- 

cludes fourteen untitled works; Enigma- 
tic Tryptich; Night Time Nostalgia; 
Composition; Detail for Mural. "These 
are not simply studies, but complete 
large scale compositions in black and 
white, carefully and skilfully [sic] 



260 



December 27 



December 



1935-36 

1936 
February 1-29 

March 2-April 19 
March 16— April 4 

Spring 



elaborated, with a result in the ensemble 
that is brilliantly effective." (The New 
York Post, December 21, 1935) 

Federal Art Project Gallery, New York, 
Murals for Public Buildings. Gallery's 
inaugural show opens. Mayor La Guar- 
dia attends opening, says of Gorky's 
Aviation: "I am a conservative in my 
art, as I am a progressive in my politics. 
That's why I perhaps cannot understand 
it." (New York Herald Tribune, De- 
cember 28, 1935) 

Alfred H. Barr, Jr. chooses Gorky's 
WPA mural design from two proposals 
submitted to him. Subsequently, idea of 
using photographs is dropped, and 
mural is reassigned to Newark Airport 
Administration Building. 

Between 1935 and 1937 paints ten panels 
in oil on canvas in seventh-floor work- 
shop of Federal Art Project Building at 
6 East 39th Street. 

Marries Marny George; they soon 
divorce. 

Works on Khorkom paintings (cat. nos. 
99, 100). Corresponds about artistic 
philosophy with cousin Ado Adoian, 
member of Armenian Communist Party 
in Yerevan. 



J.B. Neumann's New Art Circle, New 
York, Vastly Kandinsky. 

The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, Cubism and Abstract Art. Organ- 
ized by Alfred H. Barr, Jr. 

Guild Art Gallery, New York, Drawings, 
Small Sculpture, Watercolors. Includes 
Gorky, Boris Aronson, Ben-Schmuel, 
Lloyd Ney, Anna Walinska and others. 

Castigates Social Realists and con- 
demns propagandistic illustrations as 
"poor art for poor people" in speech 
at Artists' Union. 



November 



November 10- 
December 10 



November 20- 
December 26 



December 9, 1936- 
January 17, 1937 



December 18 



tation. Ten Panels in second floor foyer 
Administration Building, Newark Air- 
port, N.J. Oil on canvas. 1530 Sq. Ft. 
Catalogue nos. 20. One completed 
panel, oil on canvas [Activities on the 
Field]. 21. Model showing interior with 
murals. 22. Photograph of largest 
panels. 

Also includes Byron Browne, Francis 
Criss, Stuart Davis, Balcomb Greene, de 
Kooning, Jan Matulka and George 
McNeil. 

Selected works shown at The Newark 
Museum as Old and New Paths in 
American Design 1720-1936, November 
15-December 28. 

Vartoosh moves to Chicago, resumes 
lengthy correspondence in Armenian 
with Gorky. 

Whitney Museum of American Art, New 
York, Third Biennial Exhibition of Con- 
temporary American Painting. Gorky 
shows Organization. Also includes 
Stuart Davis, Graham, Saul Schary, 
Raphael Soyer. 

Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, 
Joan Mird Retrospective. 

Julien Levy publishes Surrealism. Gorky 
immediately reads entire book in back 
room of Levy's gallery. 

The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism. 
Organized by Alfred H. Barr, Jr. In- 
cludes Americans Peter Blume, Calder 
and Cornell; Gorky not shown. 

Frederick Kiesler, "Murals Without 
Walls: Relating to Gorky's Newark 
Project," published in Art Front, vol. 2. 
First magazine article on Gorky; con- 
cepts and methods of modern mural 
painting are discussed. 

Romance with painter Corinne Michael 
West. 



June Boyer Gallery, New York, Modern 

American Paintings. Includes Gorky 
and others. 

September New York City Art Commission ap- 

proves Gorky's mural for Newark Air- 
port Administration Building entitled 
Aviation, oil on canvas, 1500 square 
feet. WPA/FAP Model-Making Divi- 
sion executes maquette showing place- 
ment of ten panels. 

September 14- The Museum of Modern Art, New 

October 12 York, New Horizons in American Art. 

Survey of the first year's work done 

under WPA/FAP. Catalogue lists: 

Arshile Gorky: Aviation: Evolution 

of Forms Under Aerodynamic Limi- 



1937 
February 



February 18- 
March 6 



May 



June 9 



June 12- 
October 31 



Photograph of Gorky working on New- 
ark Murals published in Kiesler's "The 
Architect in Search of . . . ," The 
Architectural Record, vol. 81, p. 12. 

Syracuse Museum, New York, Art Here. 
Includes Gorky and others. 

Probably speaks before American Fed- 
eration of Artists, Washington, D.C. 

Newark Airport murals unveiled at 
Administration Building. 

Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Greater 
Pan American Exhibition: Art of the 



261 



Summer 



November 10- 
December 12 



1937-38 

1938 
January 1-27 



January 

February 23- 
March 19 

April 18-May 7 
May-July 



Americas, Precolumbian and Contempo- 
rary. Gorky shows Organization no. 2, 
lent by Boyer Galleries. 

Is permitted to engage in easel painting 
in his studio while employed by WPA/ 
FAP Mural Division; continues to do so 
until summer 1941. 

Around this time begins paintings based 
on Picasso's studio interiors, for ex- 
ample Composition with Head, ca. 1934— 
36; Still Life on the Table, ca. 1935; 
Organization, ca. 1936 (cat. nos. 79, 80, 
81). 

Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, Annual Exhibition of Con- 
temporary American Painting. Gorky 
shows Painting, 1936-37 (cat. no. 102): 
acquired by Whitney, this is his first 
museum purchase. 

John Graham's System and Dialectics 
of Art published in New York. Gorky, 
Breton, Eluard, Tzara, Zervos and 
others included in section entitled 
"Good Taste." 

Nierendorf Gallery, New York, Kan- 
dinsky: A Retrospective View. Organized 
by College Art Association. 

Gorky and de Kooning attend first 
meeting of American Abstract Artists; 
neither joins. 

Works in freer biomorphic style in- 
fluenced by Miro and Masson, for 
example Enigmatic Combat, 1937; 
Argula, 1938 (cat. nos. 104, 120). 



Gallery of the Architecture Building, 
University of Illinois, Urbana-Cham- 
paign, Exhibition of Contemporary 
American Painting. Travels to University 
Gallery, University of Minnesota, Min- 
neapolis, as Third Annual Exhibition of 
Contemporary American Painting at the 
University of Minnesota, February 4-23. 
Gorky shows Still Life, lent by Boyer 
Galleries. 

Begins studies for murals for 1939-40 
New York World's Fair Marine and 
Aviation Buildings. Sometime this year, 
study for Marine Building rejected in 
favor of work by Feininger. 

Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, 
Fernand Leger. 

Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, 
Joan Mir 6: Recent Works. 

Musee du Jeu de Paume, Paris, Trois 
siecles d'art aux Etats-Unis. Organized 
in collaboration with The Museum of 
Modern Art, New York. Gorky shows 
Painting, 1936-37 (cat. no. 102). 



October 24 



October 25- 
November 12 

November 



1939 



January 16 



Nierendorf Gallery, New York, Paul 
Klee: A Choice Collection of the 
Master's Work from 1923-28. 

Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, 
Leger. 

Receives cut in WPA salary to $91.00 
per month. 

Boyer Gallery, New York [One-man 
Exhibition]. 

Nierendorf Gallery, New York, Three 
Masters of the Bauhaus: Kandinsky, 
Klee, Feininger. 

Included in James Johnson Sweeney, 
"L'art contemporain aux Etats-Unis," 
Cahiers d'Art, vol. 13, no. 1-2, pp. 45- 
52. Painting (cat. no. 102) reproduced. 



Leaves WPA/FAP to complete murals 
for World's Fair Aviation Building. 



March 21 -April 17 Julien Levy Gallery, New York, Dali. 

Late Spring New York World's Fair opens in 

Flushing Meadow, Queens; continues 
through summer 1940. Gorky's mural 
Man's Conquest of the Air (now de- 
stroyed) installed in Aviation Building. 

May 5-27 Valentine Gallery, New York. First 

exhibition of Picasso's Guernica in 
United States. Organized by American 
Artists' Congress to benefit Spanish Civil 
War Refugees. Gorky, Leo Katz and 
Walter Pach hold panel discussion in 
conjunction with exhibition. 

May 20 Naturalized as United States citizen. 

June 1 Museum of Non-Objective Painting 

opens in New York; renamed The 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 
1952. 

June 9 Reinstated on WPA/FAP. 

August Receives second cut in WPA salary, now 

to $87.60 per month. 

September Outbreak of World War II and sub- 

sequent invasion of France causes many 
European artists, primarily Surrealists, 
to flee to United States through 1941. 

Fall Applies for John Simon Guggenheim 

Foundation Fellowship; requests Holger 
Cahill to write in support of application 
and writes to Max Weber on October 21, 
asking to use his name as reference. 
Fellowship not granted. 

November 1 Yves Tanguy arrives in New York. 

November 1939- The Museum of Modern Art, New 
January 1940 York, Picasso: Forty Years of His Art. 



262 



Organized by Alfred H. Barr, Jr. 

Matta moves to New York, where he 
remains until 1948. 

Dali arrives in New York; remains 
through 1948. 

Nierendorf Gallery, New York, Kan- 
dinsky. 



March Nierendorf Gallery, New York, Kandin- 

sky. 

April 7-26 Buchholz Gallery, New York [Group 

Show]. Includes Klee, Leger, Masson and 
Picasso. 

April 19-27 The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 

New York, A Special Exhibition of Con- 
temporary Painting in the United States. 
Gorky shows Argoola, 1938 (cat. no. 
120). 



1940 



January 10- 
February 18 



March 

April 16-May 7 

September 



October 



Fall 



Begins Garden in Sochi series (cat. nos. 
121-125). 

Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, Annual Exhibition of Con- 
temporary American Painting. Gorky 
shows Head Composition. 



Pierre Matisse Gallery, New 
Joan Mir 6: Early Paintings. 



York, 



Julien Levy Gallery, New York, Matta. 
First exhibition in New York. 

First issue of View, Surrealist magazine 
founded by Charles Henri Ford, 
published; continues until 1947. 

Gorky requests use of classroom to 
teach camouflage course at Grand 
Central School of Art, but is advised to 
wait a few months because draft may 
limit enrollment. 

Mondrian arrives in New York; re- 
mains until his death in 1944. 

Meets Gordon Onslow-Ford, who was 
lecturing on Surrealism at The New 
School for Social Research. 



November 27, 1940- Whitney Museum of American Art, 



January 8, 1941 



December 17 



Early 1940s 



1941 
January 16 



New York, Annual Exhibition of Con- 
temporary American Painting. Gorky 
shows Oil Painting, 1938. 

Reinstated on WPA. 

Gorky teaches camouflage course at 
Grand Central School of Art; course 
announcement he writes published in 
school catalogue, 1942. Betty Parsons 
meets Gorky and takes camouflage and 
drawing class from him : "He was a 
marvelous teacher who, as soon as any- 
body started to get skillful, would go 
and get a bottle of ink and piece of 
string, dip the string in the ink and say 
now draw with it. That taught us alot." 



The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, acquires Argula, 1938 (cat. no. 
120), gift of Bernard Davis, Gorky's 
friend and early collector, and Objects, 
1932 (cat. no. 39), purchased from the 
artist. 



July 2 



June-December La Pintura Contemporana Norteameri- 

cana. Organized by The Museum of 
Modern Art, New York, in collabora- 
tion with The Brooklyn Museum, The 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New 
York, Whitney Museum of American 
Art, New York, and The Coordinator 
of Commercial and Cultural Relations 
between American Republics. Traveled 
throughout South America. Gorky 
shows Argula, 1938 (cat. no. 120). 

Resigns from WPA/FAP. 

Jeanne Reynal, mosaicist, offers to try 
to arrange exhibition for Gorky in San 
Francisco. Gorky drives across country 
with Noguchi, Noguchi's sister, Agnes 
Magruder and two other friends. Nogu- 
chi recalls: "He'd be always seeing some 
peasant woman up in the sky. And we 
had terrible arguments about it because 
I said, 'that's just a cloud.' . . . And 
then he'd go on about some of his 
childhood recollections, which seemed to 
tinge everything he saw." (Karlen 
Mooradian, "The Philosophy of Arshile 
Gorky," Armenian Digest, vol. 2, 
September-October 1971, p. 60) 

July 17 Arrives in San Francisco. 

July Max Ernst emigrates to United States; 

marries Peggy Guggenheim in Septem- 
ber. After brief stay in New York travels 
across country. Remains in United 
States until 1953. 

August 9-24 San Francisco Museum of Art, Arshile 

Gorky. Shows ca. twenty paintings, in- 
cluding Portrait of my mother, 1921, 
charcoal drawing (cat. no. 72); Portrait 
of my sister, 1923; Image in Xhorkom, 
1934; Xhorkom, 1934; Portrait, 1938; 
Enigmatic Combat, 1937 (cat. no. 104), 
lent by Miss Jeanne Reynal: she gives 
painting to Museum this year. 

Murals (now destroyed) for Ben Mar- 
den's Riviera nightclub, Fort Lee, New 
Jersey, installed. Gorky quoted in 
Malcolm Johnson's "Cafe Life in New 
York," 77ie New York Sun, August 22, 
p. 15: "I call these murals non-objective 
art . . . but if labels are needed this art 
may be termed surrealistic. ..." 

September 15 Marries Agnes Magruder in Virginia 



August 



263 



City, Nevada. Calls her "Mougouch," 
Armenian term of endearment. 

September 26- Gorky and Agnes visit Mooradians in 

November Chicago on return journey to New York. 

November 12- Whitney Museum of American Art, 

December 30 New York, Paintings by Artists under 

Forty. Gorky shows Painting, 1936-37 

(cat. no. 102). 

November 19, 1941- The Museum of Modern Art, New 
January 11, 1942 York, Joan Mirb and Salvador Dali. 
First Miro retrospective. 

Andre Masson arrives in New York; 
remains until 1946. 

Andre Breton emigrates to United States. 

Gorky meets Matta Echaurren. Levy 
says Matta urged Gorky to mix turpen- 
tine freely in his paints and thus achieve 
the liberty of fresh, airy improvisation. 
(Julien Levy, Arshile Gorky, New York, 
1966, p. 24) 



Late 1941 

1942 
January 5-26 



January 25- 
February 28 



February 28- 
March 31 



March 



April 
May 
June 



Applies to draft board to serve in 
camouflage unit; rejected as overage. 



R.H. Macy Department Store, New 
York [Group Exhibition]. Organized by 
Samuel Kootz. Includes Gorky, Got- 
tlieb, Graham, Carl Holty, Jan Matulka 
and Rothko. 

City Art Museum, St. Louis, American 
Art. Gorky shows Argula, 1938 (cat. 
no. 120). 

The Davison Art Rooms of Olin 
Library, Wesleyan University, Middle- 
town, Connecticut, Oil Paintings, Water- 
colors and Prints lent by the Yale Uni- 
versity Art Gallery from the Collection 
of the 'Societe Anonyme — Museum of 
Modern Art: 1920. Gorky shows 
Forms, ca. 1931-32 (cat. no. 40). 

Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, 
Artists in Exile. Includes Breton, Cha- 
gall, Ernst, Leger, Jacques Lipchitz, 
Matta, Mondrian, Amedee Ozenfant, 
Tanguy and others. 

Special issue of View devoted to Ernst. 

Special issue of View devoted to Tanguy. 

Upon request of Dorothy Miller writes 
statement on Garden in Sochi series 
(see essay, p. 46). 

First issue of VVV, magazine founded 
and edited by David Hare with Breton 
and Ernst as editorial advisors. 



Early Summer 



July 1 



October 14- 
November 7 



December 9, 1942- 
January 24, 1943 



1943 
February 



February 23- 
March 20 



April 5 



April 15 



June 17— July 25 



July 



November 23, 1943- 
January 4, 1944 



1944 



by V'Soske, two preliminary studies 
and design in gouache (cat. no. 118). 
Writes to Dorothy Miller on June 26: 
"The design on the rug is the skin of a 
water buffalo stretched in the sunny 
wheatfield. If it looks like something 
else then it is even better!" 

Spends three weeks at Saul Schary's 
farm in New Milford, Connecticut; does 
studies from nature which initiate major 
stylistic redirection as reflected in 
The Pirate I, 1942; The Pirate II, 1943; 
Waterfall, ca. 1943 (cat. nos. 126, 127, 
129). 

The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, acquires Garden in Sochi, 1941 
(cat. no. 124), partial gift of Mr. and 
Mrs. Wolfgang S. Schwabacher. 

Whitlaw Reid Mansion, 451 Madison 
Avenue, New York, First Papers of Sur- 
realism. Includes Duchamp, Kiesler, 
Klee, Masson, Matta, Miro, Picasso, 
Tanguy and young Americans, among 
them William Baziotes, Hare and 
Robert Motherwell. 

The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, Twentieth-Century American Por- 
traits. Gorky shows My Sister, Ahko, 
1917 (cat. no. 64). 



Gorky hosts dinner at his studio in 
honor of Leger. 

Buchholz Gallery, New York, Paul 
Klee and Andre Masson. 

Julien Levy Gallery, New York [Matta 
Drawings]. 

First daughter, Maro, born. 

The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, Painting and Sculpture by Young 
Americans. Gorky shows Garden in 
Sochi, 1941 (cat. no. 124). 

Gorkys vacation at home of Agnes' 
parents, Admiral and Mrs. John H. 
Magruder II, Crooked Run Farm, in 
Hamilton, Virginia. Gorky makes 
drawings (see cat. nos. 134-138, 142, 
145, 146) out of doors and writes to 
Vartoosh: "The state of Virginia re- 
minds one of Armenia's lowlands . . . 
although it is less majestic." 

Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, Annual Exhibition of Con- 
temporary American Art. Gorky shows 
Shenandoah Landscape, 1943, pencil 
and crayon. 



June 30-August 9 The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, New Rugs by American Artists. 
Gorky shows Bull in Sun, 1942, executed 



February-December Abstract and Surrealist Art in the 
United States. Organized by Sidney 
Janis and San Francisco Museum of 



264 



April 



Spring 



Art. Traveled to Cincinnati Art Museum, 
February 8-March 12; The Denver Art 
Museum, March 26-April 3; The Santa 
Barbara Museum of Art, June-July; 
San Francisco Museum of Art, July; 
Mortimer Brandt Gallery, New York, 
November 29-December 30. Gorky 
shows The Liver is the Coxcomb. Also 
includes de Kooning, Gottlieb, Mother- 
well, Pollock and Rothko. 

James Johnson Sweeney, "Five Ameri- 
can Painters," Harper's Bazaar, vol. 78, 
pp. 122, 124. Article on Gorky, Milton 
Avery, Morris Graves, Matta and 
Pollock. "Arshile Gorky's latest work 
shows his realization of the value of 
literally returning to the earth .... 
last summer Gorky decided to 'look into 
the grass' as he put it. The product was 
a series of monumentally drawn details 
of what one might see in the heavy 
August grass." 

Returns to Crooked Run Farm; spends 
nine months there. 



May 14-July 7 



Checklist with "The Eye Spring: Arshile 
Gorky" by Andre Breton: "The eye- 
spring . . . Arshile Gorky — for me the 
first painter to whom the secret has been 
completely revealed! ... In short, it 
is my concern to emphasize that Gorky 
is, of all the surrealist artists, the only 
one who maintains direct contact with 
nature — sits down to paint before her." 
Coins term "hybrids" for Gorky's 
forms, which he describes as "the re- 
sultants provoked in an observer con- 
templating a nature spectacle with 
extreme concentration, the resultants 
being a combination of the spectacle 
and a flux of childhood and other 
memories. ..." 

New edition of Breton's Surrealism and 
Painting, first published 1928, appears: 
concluding chapter devoted to Gorky. 

67 Gallery, New York, A Problem for 
Critics. Includes Gorky, Arp, Gottlieb, 
Lee Krasner, Hans Hofmann, Miro, 
Picasso, Pollock and Rothko. 



May 24- October 15 The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, Art in Progress: XV Anniversary 
Exhibition for The Museum of Modern 
Art. Gorky shows Garden in Sochi, 
1941. 



October 31- 
November 25 



Winter 



November- 
December 



1945 



March 6-31 



Buchholz Gallery, New York, The 
Blue Four: Feininger, Jawlensky, Kan- 
dinsky, Paul Klee. 

Accompanies Noguchi and Jeanne 
Reynal to Margaret La Farge Osborn's 
dinner in honor of Breton, whom he 
meets for first time. 

Sidney Janis' Abstract and Surrealist 
Art published in conjunction with pres- 
entation of traveling show Abstract and 
Surrealist Art in the United States at 
Mortimer Brandt Gallery, New York. 

Lives for nine months in Roxbury, Con- 
necticut, at home of David Hare. Writes 
to Vartoosh, July 4: "We were on the 
farm with Agnes for nine months last 
year. We returned to New York and two 
months later came here." 

Julien Levy becomes Gorky's dealer; 
he shows his work annually through 
1948. 

Julien Levy Gallery, New York, Arshile 
Gorky. Shows How My Mother's Em- 
broidered Apron Unfolds in My Life, 1 944 
(cat. no. 164); Horns of the Landscape; 
The Leaf of the Artichoke Is an Owl, 1 944 
(cat. no. 167); Love of a New Gun, 1944 
(cat. no. 144); Pirate, 1942; One Year the 
Milkweed, 1944 (cat. no. 165); The Sun, 
The Dervish in the Tree, 1944 (cat. no. 
162); They Will Take My Island, 1944 
(cat. no. 181); Water of the Flowery 
Mill, 1944 (cat. no. 160); drawings. 



May 17-June 17 



June 14 



July 4 



August 8 



September- 
November 



California Palace of the Legion of 
Honor, San Francisco, Contemporary 
American Painting. Gorky shows Com- 
position, lent by Jeanne Reynal. 

Writes to Vartoosh from Roxbury: 
"[I've] been working vigorously on 
many works which deal in truth with 
our Armenian world. Often I elaborate 
on The Plow and The Song." 

Writes to Vartoosh: "This is the first 
year that I am working without any 
financial worries. . . . Mr. Levy sold 
seven of my pictures." 



Daughter Yalda born, 
changed to Natasha. 



name soon 



Gorkys move in with friends, architect 
Henry Hebbeln and wife Jean, in Sher- 
man, Connecticut. They convert barn 
into studio for Gorky. Friends and 
neighbors in Connecticut include Peter 
Blume, Malcolm Cowley, Louisa and 
Alexander Calder, Muriel and Julien 
Levy, Hope and Saul Schary, Kay 
Sage and Yves Tanguy. 



November 27, 1945- Whitney Museum of American Art, 
January 10, 1946 New York, Annual Exhibition of Con- 
temporary American Painting. Gorky 
shows Journal d'un Seducteur, 1945 
(cat. no. 186). 

1946 

January 26 Fire in Sherman studio destroys about 

twenty-seven paintings, including two 
of The Plow and the Song theme, draw- 
ings and books. 

February Undergoes colostomy operation for 

cancer, Mount Sinai Hospital, New 
York. 



265 



February 5- 
March 13 



February 16- 
March 9 



Late February 



April 9-May 4 



Summer 



September 10- 
December 8 



Late November 



Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, Annual Exhibition of Con- 
temporary American Sculptures, Water- 
colors and Drawings. Gorky shows 
Anatomical Blackboard, colored pencil 
and crayon (cat. no. 149). 

City Art Museum, St. Louis, 39th An- 
nual Exhibition — American Painting. 
Gorky shows Number 242, lent by 
Julien Levy Gallery. 

Wolfgang Schwabacher secures grant 
for Gorky from New Land Foundation 
forS1500ayear. 

Julien Levy Gallery, New York, Paint- 
ings by Arshile Gorky. Greenberg calls 
the eleven oils exhibited "some of the 
best modern painting ever turned out by 
an American." (The Nation, vol. 162, 
May 4, 1946, p. 552) 

Returns to Crooked Run Farm; con- 
centrates on drawing because studio/ 
barn had burned. On November 17 
writes to Vartoosh: "This summer I 
completed many drawings — 292 of 
them. At no other time have 1 ever been 
able to draw this much and they are 
truly excellent." 

The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, Fourteen Americans. Gorky shows 
The Artist and His Mother, 1926-29 
(cat. no. 75); Garden in Sochi, 1941 
(cat. no. 124); The Diary of a Seducer, 

1944 (cat. no. 186); The Unattainable, 

1945 (cat. no. 183); Water of the Flowery 
Mill, 1944 (cat. no. 160); Landscape 
Table, 1945 (cat. no. 189); Nude, 1946 
(cat. no. 194); Childs Companions, 1945; 
Anatomical Blackboard, 1943 (cat. no. 
149) ; The Backbone of My Ancestor was 
Far Away, 1944; The Visible Monument- 
Soft, 1944. Also includes Hare, Mother- 
well, Noguchi, Theodore Roszak, Saul 
Steinberg and Mark Tobey. 

Returns to New York with Agnes and 
children. 



December 10, 1946- Whitney Museum of American Art, 
January 16, 1947 New York, Annual Exhibition of Con- 
temporary American Painting. Gorky 
shows Nude,l946 (cat. no. 194). 

Makes two illustrations for Breton's 
book of poetry, Young Cherry Trees 
Secured Against Hares. 

Miro arrives in New York on way to 
work on mural in Ohio; Gorky holds 
party in his honor at 36 Union Square. 

Moves permanently to Sherman but 
maintains New York studio. Hebbelns 
transform farmhouse into modern home 
with one wall made of glass for Gorkys. 

January 17 Gorky expresses objections to lack of 

seriousness in Surrealist art. Writes to 



February 15-28 



February 18- 
March 8 

March 11 -April 17 



Vartoosh: "Surrealism is academic art 
under disguise and anli-aesthetic and 
suspicious of excellence and largely in 
opposition to modern art." 

Hugo Gallery, New York, Bloodflames. 
Catalogue with text on Gorky by 
Nicolas Calas. Includes Hare, Wifredo 
Lam, Matta, Noguchi and others. 

Julien Levy Gallery, New York, Arshile 
Gorky: Colored Drawings. 

Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, Annual Exhibition of Con- 
temporary American Sculpture, Water- 
colors and Drawings. Gorky shows 
Colored Drawing, 1947, pencil and 
crayon. 

The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, Drawings in the Collection of The 
Museum of Modern Art. Gorky shows 
Objects, 1932 (cat. no. 39). 

Galerie Maeght, Paris, Le Surrealisme 
en 1947: Exposition Internationale du 
Surrealisme presentee par Andre Breton 
et Marcel Duchamp. Last major Surreal- 
ist group exhibition. Gorky shows How 
My Mother 's Embroidered Apron Unfolds 
in My Life, 1944 (cat. no. 164), and others. 



November 6, 1947- The Art Institute of Chicago, Abstract 
January 11, 1948 and Surrealist American Art. Gorky 

shows The Sun, The Dervish in the 

Tree, 1944 (cat. no. 162). 



April 15-June 1 



July-August 



November 19, 1947- 
January 4, 1948 



December 6, 1947- 
January 25, 1948 



1948 
January 27 



January 31 
March 21 



February 9 



February 16 



California Palace of the Legion of 
Honor, San Francisco, 2nd Annual Ex- 
hibition of Paintings. Gorky shows 
Nude, lent by Julien Levy. 

Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, Annual Exhibition of Ameri- 
can Painting. Gorky shows 77;e Calen- 
dars. Greenberg calls it "the best paint- 
ing in the exhibition and one of the best 
paintings ever done by an American." 
(The Nation, vol. CLXVI, January 10, 
1948, p. 52) 



Gives The Betrothal (cat. no. 200) to 
International Rescue Committee. 

Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, Annual Exhibition of Con- 
temporary American Sculptures, Water- 
colors and Drawings. Gorky shows 
The Betrothal, crayon. 

Talcott B. Clapp, "A Painter in a Glass 
House," Sunday Republican Magazine 
(Waterbury, Connecticut), p. 6. Article 
includes interview with Gorky. 

Photographs of Gorky at home in "the 
Glass House" published in Life, vol. 24, 
pp. 90-92. Article about remodeled 
house. 



266 



February 



February 29- 
March 20 



Sedrak Adoian. dies in Providence at 
age eighty-five; Gorky not told. 

Julien Levy Gallery, New York, Arshile 
Gorky. Shows White Abstraction, 1934; 
Garden in Sochi, 1941 ; The Liver is The 
Coxcomb, 1944 (cat. no. 161); The 
Pirate, 1945; Delicate Game, 1946 (cat. 
no. 191); Good Hope Road, 1946; Im- 
patience, 1946 (cat. no. 184); Soft 
Night, 1948; Sculptured Head, 1932; 
drawings. 

Greenberg writes: "What is new about 
these paintings is the unproblematic 
voluptuousness with which they cele- 
brate and display the process of paint- 
ing for their own sake. With this 



June 26 

mid-July 
July 21 



sensuous richness . . . Gorky at last 
takes his place . . . among the very 
few contemporary American painters 
whose work is of more than national 
importance." {The Nation, vol. 166, 
March 20, 1948, p. 331) 

Neck broken and painting arm im- 
mobilized in accident in automobile 
driven by Julien Levy. 

Wife leaves with both children. 

Writes "Goodbye My Loveds" in white 
chalk on wooden picture crate in 
Sherman studio and commits suicide 
by hanging. 

Lisa Dennison Tabak 



267 



Selected Exhibitions and Reviews 



I. Selected Group 

Exhibitions and Reviews 

The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, An Exhibition of Work by 46 
Painters and Sculptors Under 35 
Years of Age, April 11-26, 1930. 
Catalogue 

Societe Anonyme, New York, Special 
Exhibition Arranged in Honor of the 
Opening of the New Building of the 
New School for Social Research, 
January 1 -February 10, 1931 

The Downtown Gallery, New York, 
Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings, 
Sculptures by Leading Contemporary 
American Artists, June 2-22, 1931. 
Catalogue 

The Downtown Gallery, New York, 
Artists Models: Figure Paintings by 
Leading Contemporary American 
Artists, October 5-25,1931. Catalogue 

The Downtown Gallery, New York, 
American Print Makers: Fifth Annual 
Exhibition, December 7-31, 1931 

Wilmington Society of Fine Arts, Exhibi- 
tion of Russian Painting and Sculpture, 
1932. Catalogue with text by Christian 
Brinton 

The Forum, RCA Building, Rockefeller 
Center, New York, First Municipal 
Art Exhibition, February 28-March 

31, 1934. Catalogue with text by 
Holger Cahill 

Laurie Eglington, "Municipal Show 
of American Art Opens to Public," 
Art News, vol. 32, March 3, 1934, p. 3 

"Ceremonies Mark Official Opening 
of Municipal Show," Art News, vol. 

32, March 3, 1934, p. 6 

"Hosannas," Art Digest, vol. 8, 
March 5, 1934, p. 12 

Boyer Galleries, Philadelphia [Group Ex- 
hibition], 1934 

Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, Abstract Painting in Amer- 
ica, February 12-March 22, 1935. 



Catalogue with text by Ethel Schwa- 
bacher 

Guild Art Gallery, New York [Group 
Exhibition], closing October 28, 1935 

Edward Alden Jewell, "In the Realm 
of Art: Campfires on Olympus 
Slopes," The New York Times, October 
13, 1935, p. x9 

Federal Art Project Gallery, New York, 
Murals for Public Buildings, opening 
December 27, 1935 

"W.P.A. Murals Are Too Much for 
LaGuardia," New York Herald Trib- 
une, December 28, 1935 

Guild Art Gallery, New York, Drawings, 
Small Sculptures, Watercolors, March 
16-April 4, 1936 

Boyer Gallery, New York, Modern 
American Paintings, opening June 15, 
1936 

The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, New Horizons in American Art, 
September 14-October 12, 1936. 
Catalogue with text by Holger Cahill 

The New Yorker, vol. 12, September 
26, 1936, p. 30 

Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, Third Biennial Exhibition 
of Contemporary American Painting, 
November 10-December 10, 1936. 
Catalogue 

The Newark Museum, Old and New 
Paths in American Design, 1720-1936, 
November 15-December 28, 1936. 
Catalogue with text by Holger Cahill 

"Opens Exhibit of Federal Art," 
Newark Evening News, November 7, 
1936, p. 24 

"W.P.A. Workers Exhibit Art in 
City Museum," Newark Star Eagle, 
November 7, 1936, p. 3 

"Goodness Gracious! Is Aviation 
Really Coming to This?," The 
Newark Ledger, November 8, 1936 

Syracuse Museum, New York, Art 
Here, February 18-March 6, 1937. 
Catalogue with text by Ruth Lawrence 



Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Greater 
Pan American Exhibition: Art of the 
Americas, Precolumbian and Contem- 
porary, June 12-October 31, 1937 

Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, Annual Exhibition of Con- 
temporary American Painting, Novem- 
ber 10-December 12, 1937. Catalogue 

University Gallery, University of Min- 
nesota, Minneapolis, Third Annual 
Exhibition of Contemporary American 
Painting at the University of Minne- 
sota, February 4-28, 1938. Catalogue 

Musee du Jeu de Paume, Paris, Trois 
siecles d'art aux Etats-Unis, May- 
July 1938. Organized in collaboration 
with The Museum of Modern Art, 
New York. Catalogue 

Boyer Galleries, Philadelphia [Group 
Exhibition], 1938 

The George Walter Vincent Smith Art 
Gallery, Springfield, Massachusetts, 
Collection of the Societe Anonyme — 
Museum of Modern Art: 1920, No- 
vember 9-December 17, 1939. Cata- 
logue 

Whitney Museum of American Art, New 
York, Annual Exhibition of Contem- 
porary American Painting, January 
10-February 18, 1940. Catalogue 

Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, Annual Exhibition of Con- 
temporary American Painting, No- 
vember 27, 1940-January 8, 1941. 
Catalogue 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New 
York, A Special Exhibition of Con- 
temporary Painting in the United 
States, April 19-27, 1941. Catalogue 

La Pintura Contemporana Norteameri- 
cana. Organized by The Museum of 
Modern Art, New York, in collabo- 
ration with The Brooklyn Museum, 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
New York, Whitney Museum of 
American Art, New York, and The 
Coordinator of Commercial and 
Cultural Relations between American 
Republics. Catalogue in English and 



268 



Spanish with text by Helen Appleton 
Read. Section I, Mexico and The 
West, traveled to Santiago, Chile; 
Lima, Peru; Quito, Ecuador, June- 
December 1941. Section II, East 
Coast, traveled to Buenos Aires; 
Montevideo, Uruguay; Rio de Jane- 
iro, Brazil, July-December 1941. 
Section III traveled to Bogota, 
Colombia; Caracas; Rio de Janeiro; 
Havana, July-December 1941. All 
three sections shown at The Metro- 
politan Museum of Art, New York, 
as A Special j Exhibition j of / Contem- 
porary Painting in the United States, 
April 19-27 

Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, Paintings by Artists Under 
Forty, November 12-December 30, 
1941 

R. H. Macy Department Store, New 
York [Group Exhibition], January 5- 
26, 1942. Organized by Samuel Kootz 

City Art Museum, St. Louis, Ameri- 
can Art, January 25-February 28, 
1942 

The Davison Art Rooms of Olin 
Library, Wesleyan University, Mid- 
dletown, Connecticut, Oil Paintings, 
Watercolors and Prints lent by the 
Yale University Art Gallery from the 
Collection of the Societe Anonyme — 
Museum of Modern Art: 1920, Febru- 
ary 28-March 31, 1942 

The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, New Rugs by American Artists, 
June 30-August 9, 1942. Checklist 

The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, Twentieth Century Portraits, 
December 9, 1942-January 24, 1943. 
Catalogue with text by Monroe 
Wheeler 

The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, Recent Acquisitions: The Work 
of Young Americans, June 17-July 25, 
1943 

Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, Annual Exhibition of Con- 
temporary American Art, November 
23, 1943-January 4, 1944. Catalogue 

Abstract and Surrealist Art in the United 
States. Organized by Sidney Janis and 
San Francisco Museum of Art. 
Catalogue with text by Sidney Janis. 
Traveled to Cincinnati Art Museum, 
February 8-March 12, 1944; The 
Denver Art Museum, March 26- 
April 3; The Santa Barbara Museum 
of Art, June-July; San Francisco 
Museum of Art, July. Traveled with 
separate catalogue published as 
Sidney Janis, Abstract and Surrealist 
Art in America, New York, 1944, to 
Mortimer Brandt Gallery, New York, 
November 29-December 30 

M[aude] R[iley], "Whither Goes 
Abstract and Surrealist Art?" Art 



Digest, vol. 19, December 1, 1944, 
pp. 8, 31 

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 
Art in Progress: XV Anniversary Ex- 
hibition for The Museum of Modern 
Art, May 24-October 15, 1944. 
Catalogue with text by James Thrall 
Soby 

The Art Institute of Chicago, Modern 
Art in Advertisement, April 27-June 
23, 1945. Catalogue with text by Carl 
Schniewind 

67 Gallery, New York, A Problem for 
Critics, May 14-July 7, 1945 

Maude Riley, "Insufficient Evidence," 
Art Digest, vol. 19, June 1, 1945, p. 12 

California Palace of the Legion of 
Honor, San Francisco, Contemporary 
American Painting, May 17-June 17, 

1945. Catalogue with text by Jer- 
mayne MacAgy 

Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, 
Pittsburgh, Painting in the United 
States, October 11-December 9, 1945. 
Catalogue 

Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, Annual Exhibition of Con- 
temporary American Painting, No- 
vember 27, 1945-January 10, 1946. 
Catalogue 

Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, Annual Exhibition of Con- 
temporary American Sculptures, 
Watercolors and Drawings, February 
5-March 13, 1946. Catalogue 

City Art Museum, St. Louis, 39th 
Annual Exhibition-American Painting, 
February 16-March 9, 1946. Cata- 
logue with text by Charles Nagel, Jr. 
published in Bulletin of the City Art 
Museum, St. Louis, vol. XXXI, no. 1, 
1946 

Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, Annual Exhibition of Con- 
temporary American Sculpture, Water- 
colors and Drawings, March 11 -April 
17, 1946. Catalogue 

The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, Fourteen Americans, September 
10-December 8, 1946. Catalogue 
edited by Dorothy C. Miller with 
statements by the artists 

Robert Sunley, "Fourteen American 
Artists," Critique, vol. 1, October 

1946, p. 21 

Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, Annual Exhibition of 
Contemporary American Painting, De- 
cember 10, 1946-January 16, 1947. 
Catalogue 

Hugo Gallery, New York, Bloodflames, 
February 15-28, 1947. Catalogue with 
text on Gorky by Nicolas Calas, p. 8 

Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, Annual Exhibition of Con- 
temporary American Sculpture, Water- 



colors and Drawings, March 11 -April 
17, 1947. Catalogue 

The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, Drawings in the Collection of 
The Museum of Modern Art, April 15- 
June 1, 1947 

Galerie Maeght, Paris, he Surrealisme 
en 1947 : Exposition Internationale du 
Surrealisme presentee par Andre 
Breton et Marcel Duchamp, July- 
August 1947 

The Art Institute of Chicago, Abstract 
and Surrealist American Art, Novem- 
ber 6, 1947-January 11, 1948. Cata- 
logue with texts by Katharine Kuh 
and Frederick Sweet 

California Palace of the Legion of 
Honor, San Francisco, 2nd Annual 
Exhibition of Paintings, November 19, 
1947-January 4, 1948. Catalogue 

Downtown Community School, New 
York [Group Exhibition], opening 
December 6, 1947 

Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, Annual Exhibition of 
Contemporary American Painting, 
December 6, 1947-January 25, 1948. 
Catalogue 

Clement Greenberg, "Art," The Afa- 
r/on, vol. CLXVI, January 10, 1948, 
p. 52 

Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, Annual Exhibition of Con- 
temporary American Sculptures, 
Watercolors and Drawings, January 
31-March 21, 1948. Catalogue 

La XXIV Biennale di Venezia: La Col- 
lezione Peggy Guggenheim, Venice, 
May 29-September 30, 1948. Cata- 
logue with texts by Bruno Alfieri and 
Peggy Guggenheim 

Los Angeles Art Association Gallery, 
The Artist as Collector, April 1949 

A.M., "Works Hung by 'Artist as 
Collector,' " Los Angeles Times, April 
24, 1949, part IV, p. 3 

Samuel M. Kootz Gallery, New York, 
The Intrasubjectives, September 15- 
October 3, 1949. Catalogue with text 
by Samuel M. Kootz 

Margaret Breuning, "Kootz Re- 
opens," Art Digest, vol. 23, Sep- 
tember 15, 1949, p. 15 

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 
New Accessions, U.S.A., from Great 
Britain, The United States and France, 
with Sculpture from the United States, 
November-December 1949 

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Rich- 
mond, American Painting 1950, April 
22-June 4, 1950. Catalogue with text 
by James Johnson Sweeney 

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Master- 
pieces from Philadelphia Private Col- 
lections, Part II, May 2-September 15, 



269 



1950. Catalogue published in Phila- 
delphia Museum Bulletin, vol. XLV, 
Spring 1950 

La XXV Biennale di Venezia, Venice, 
June 3-October 15, 1950. Catalogue 
with text "Gorky, Pollock, de Koon- 
ing" by Alfred H. Barr, Jr. 

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Sur- 
realisme & Abstraction: Choix de la 
Collection Peggy Guggenheim/ Sur- 
realisme & Ahstractie: Keuze uit de 
Verzameling Peggy Guggenheim, Janu- 
ary 19-February 26, 1951. Catalogue 
in French and Dutch. Traveled to 
Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles, 
March 3-28, 1951. Traveled with 
separate catalogue in German with 
text by Max Bill to Kunsthaus Zurich, 
as Moderne Kunst aus der Sammlung 
Peggy Guggenheim, April-May 1951 

The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, Abstract Painting and Sculpture 
in America, January 23-March 25, 

1951. Catalogue with text by Andrew 
Carnduff Ritchie 

Delius Gallery, New York, Still Lifes 
and Flowers, Old & New, March 27- 
April 28, 1951 

La Galeria Arquitac, Guadalajara, 
Mexico, Arshile Gorky y Arte Cor/tem- 
poraneo Norteamericano, April 5-21, 
1951. Checklist 

The Brooklyn Museum, New York, 
Revolution and Tradition: An Exhibi- 
tion of the Chief Movements in Ameri- 
can Painting from 1900 to the Present, 
November 15, 1951 -January 6, 1952. 
Catalogue with text by John I. H. 
Baur 

Dforothy] S[eckler], "The American 
Conflict: Rebel and Conformist," Art 
News,\o\. 50, December 1951, pp. 21, 
58-59 

Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, 
American Vanguard Art for Paris 
Exhibition, December 26, 195 1 — 
January 5, 1952. Traveled to Galerie 
de France, Paris, 1952 

Wildenstein & Co., New York, XXth 
Century American Paintings, February 
21-March 22, 1952 

Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, 
Season's Resume, April 28-May 31, 
1952 

State University of Iowa, Iowa City, 
Fourteenth Annual Fine Arts Festival: 
Contemporary Art in Iowa, June 15- 
August 1, 1952 

Burliuk Gallery, New York, Exhibition 
of Works of Art by Noted American 
Artists from the Collection of Marus- 
sia Burliuk, November 16-29, 1952 

Wildenstein & Co., New York, Land- 
marks in American Art 1670-1950, 
February 26-March 28, 1953. Cata- 
logue with text by John I. H. Baur 



All India Fine Arts & Crafts Society, 
New Delhi, 2nd International Contem- 
porary Art Exhibition. Traveled to five 
cities in India, 1953 

Eloise Spaeth, "Synthesis of Arts in 
America: 20 Contemporaries," The 
Hindustan Times, May 6, 1953, art 
supplement, n.p. 

Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, 9 
American Painters Today, January 4- 
23, 1954 

Belle Krasne, "Nine American Paint- 
ers, Nine American Worlds," The Art 
Digest, vol. 28, January 15, 1954, pp. 
10-12 

Modern Art in the U.S.A. Organized by 
The International Council of The 
Museum of Modern Art, New York. 
Separate catalogue in language of 
each country with texts by some or 
all of following: Holger Cahill, 
Mildred Constantine, Greta Lieber- 
man, Edward Steichen. Traveled to 
Musee National dArt Moderne, 
Paris, as Cinquante ans d'art aux 
Etats-Unis, March 30-May 15, 1955; 
Kunsthaus Zurich, as Moderne Kunst 
aus U.S.A., July 16-August 28; with 
two catalogues to Museo de Arte 
Moderno, Barcelona, as El Arte 
Moderno en el Estados Unidos (archi- 
tecture), and Palacio de la Virveina, 
Barcelona, as 3 Bienal Hispano- 
Americano de Arte: El Arte Moderno 
en el Estados Unidos (painting, sculp- 
ture, prints), September 24-October 
24; Haus des Deutschen Kunsthand- 
werks, Frankfurt, as Moderne Kunst 
aus U.S.A., November 13-December 
11 ; Tate Gallery, London, as Modern 
Art in the United States, January 5- 
February 12, 1956; Gemeente- 
museum, The Hague, as 50 jaar 
moderne kunst in de U.S.A., March 2- 
April 15, with one catalogue to 
Wiener Secession Galerie (painting, 
sculpture, prints, architecture) and 
Neue Galerie, Vienna (photography), 
as Moderne Kunst aus U.S.A., May 
5-June 2; with one catalogue to 
Kalemagdan Pavilion (painting, 
sculpture), ULUS Gallery (prints, 
photographs), Fresco Museum (ar- 
chitecture), Belgrade, as Savremena 
utmetnost U.S.A.D., July 6-August 6 

Meyer Schapiro, "The Younger 
American Painters of Today," The 
Listener, vol. LV, January 26, 1956, 
pp. 146-147 

San Francisco Museum of Art, Art in 
the 20th Century, June 17-July 10, 
1955. Catalogue with text by E. 
Morris Cox and Grace L. McCann 
Morley 

Milwaukee Art Center, 55 Americans, 
September 9-October 23, 1955. 
Checklist 

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Ex- 
pressionism 1900-1955, January 26- 



March 11, 1956. Catalogue with 
texts by H. H. Arnason and Sidney 
Simon 

Museum of Art, University of Michigan, 
Ann Arbor, Drawings and Watercolors 
from the Oberlin Collection, March 
11-ApriI 1, 1956 

National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 
Some American Paintings from the 
Collection of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 
January 10-31, 1957. Catalogue with 
text by R. H. Hubbard. Traveled to 
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 
March 20-31; The Art Gallery of 
Toronto, April 12-May 26; Stratford 
Arena, Ontario, July 1-August 31; 
Winnipeg Art Gallery, Manitoba, 
October 6-November 3 

The Brooklyn Museum, Golden Years of 
American Drawings: 1905-1956, Janu- 
ary 22-March 17, 1957. Catalogue 
with text by U. E. Johnson 

William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of 
Art and Atkins Museum of Fine Arts, 
Kansas City, Missouri, Some Points 
of View in Modern Painting, February 
10-March 10, 1957. Checklist 

The Baltimore Museum of Art, Modern 
Art for Baltimore, February 23-March 
17, 1957 

Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, 8 
Americans, April 1-20, 1957. Cata- 
logue 

J[ames] S[chuyler], "Reviews and 
Previews," Art News, vol. 56, April 
1957, p. 11 

Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, Contem- 
porary Art: Acquisitions 1954-1957, 
May 15, 1957-February 15, 1958. 
Catalogue 

Poindexter Gallery, New York, The 
30's: Painting in New York, June 1957. 
Catalogue edited by Patricia Passloff 
with texts by Edwin Denby and the 
artists 

Clement Greenberg, "New York 
painting only yesterday," Art News, 
vol. 56, Summer 1957, pp. 58-59, 
84-86 

Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Con- 
necticut Collects: An exhibition of 
privately owned works of art in Con- 
necticut, October 4-November 3, 
1957. Catalogue with text by Charles 
C. Cunningham 

Dallas Museum of Contemporary Art, 
Abstract by Choice, November 19- 
December 31, 1957. Catalogue with 
text by Rual Askew 

Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, Nature in Abstraction, 
January 14, 1958-March 16, 1959. 
Catalogue with text by John I. H. 
Baur. Traveled to The Phillips Col- 
lection, Washington, D.C., April 2- 
May; Fort Worth Art Center Mu- 



270 



seum, June 2-29; Los Angeles County 
Museum of Art, July 16-August 24; 
San Francisco Museum of Art, Sep- 
tember 10-October 12; Walker Art 
Center, Minneapolis, October 29- 
December 14; City Art Museum, St. 
Louis, January 7-February 8, 1959 

Avant-Garde Gallery, New York, 
Gorky, Lanskoy, Gen Paul: Early 
Paintings, April 4-May 3, 1958. Cat- 
alogue 

The New American Painting. Organized 
by The International Council of The 
Museum of Modern Art, New York. 
Separate catalogue in language of each 
country with texts by Alfred H. Barr, 
Jr., Porter McCray, reprinted texts by 
participating artists. Traveled with 
additional catalogue text by Arnold 
Rudlinger to Kunsthalle Basel, as Die 
neue amerikanische Malerei, April 19- 
May 26, 1958; Galleria Civica d'Arte 
Moderna, Milan, as La Nuova Pittura 
Americana, June 1-29; Museo Na- 
cional de Arte Contemporaneo, Ma- 
drid, as La Nueva Pintura Americana, 
July 16-August 11; Hochschule fur 
Bildende Kunste, Berlin, as Die neue 
amerikanische Malerei, September 1- 
October 1; Stedelijk Museum, Ams- 
terdam, as Jong Amerika schildert, 
October 17-November 24; Palais des 
Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles, as La nou- 
velle peinture americaine, December 6, 
1958-January 4, 1959; with additional 
exhibition and additional catalogue 
texts by Sam Hunter and Jean Cassou 
to Musee National d'Art Moderne, 
Paris, as Jackson Pollock et la nouvelle 
peinture americaine, January 16- 
February 15; with additional cata- 
logue text by Gabriel White to Tate 
Gallery, London, as The New Ameri- 
can Painting, February 24-March 22; 
The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, as The New American Painting, 
May 28 -September 8. Traveled in 
part to Albany Institute of History 
and Art, New York, as The New 
American Painting. September 25- 
October 25 

Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, X 
Years of Janis: 10th Anniversary Ex- 
hibition, September 29-November 1, 

1958. Catalogue 

The Cleveland Museum of Art, Some 
Contemporary Works of Art, Novem- 
ber 11 -December 31, 1958 

Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, 8 
American Painters, January 5-31, 

1959. Catalogue 

Museum Fridericianum, Kassel, Ger- 
many, //. Documenta'59, Kunst nach 
1945: Internationale Ausstellung, July 
11 -October 11, 1959. Catalogue with 
text by Werner Haftmann 

Klaus Jiirgen-Fischer, "Die II. Docu- 
menta in Kassel — Fuzit eines Unbeha- 
gens," Das Kunstwerk, vol. 13, August 
1959, p. 41 



Sokolniki, Moscow, American Painting 
and Sculpture : American National Ex- 
hibition in Moscow,July 25-September 
5, 1959. Organized by Archives of 
American Art, Detroit. Catalogue in 
English with text by Lloyd Goodrich 

University Art Museum, University of 
California, Berkeley, Art from Ingres 
to Pollock, March 6-April 3, 1960. 
Catalogue with texts by Herschel B. 
Chipp and Grace Morley 

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 60 
American Painters 1960: Abstract Ex- 
pressionist Painting of the '50's, April 
3-May 8, 1960. Catalogue with texts 
by H. H. Arnason and Herbert Read 

Herbert Read and H. Harvard Arna- 
son, "Dialogue on modern U.S. 
painting," Art News, vol. 59, May 

1960, pp. 33-36 

Otto Gerson Gallery, New York, 11 
Modern Works Lent by Distinguished 
Artists, Writers, Architects, February 
28-March 25, 1961 

John and Mable Ringling Museum of 
Art, Sarasota, The Sidney Janis Paint- 
ers, April 8-May 7, 1961. Catalogue 
with texts by Dore Ashton and Ken- 
neth Donahue 

Williams College Museum of Art, Wil- 
liamstown, Massachusetts, An Exhi- 
bition of Works of Art Lent by the 
Alumni of Williams College, May 5- 
June 16, 1962 

Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, 10 
American Painters, May 8-June 3, 

1961. Catalogue 

Ifrving] H. Sfandler], "Reviews and 
Previews: Ten Americans," Art News, 
vol. 60, Summer 1961, p. 10 

Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, 11 
Abstract Expressionist Painters, Octo- 
ber 7-November 2, 1963. Catalogue 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
New York, 20th Century Master Draw- 
ings, November 6, 1963-January 5, 
1964. Catalogue with texts by Emily 
Rauh and Sidney Simon. Traveled to 
University Gallery, University of Min- 
nesota, Minneapolis, February 3- 
March 15; Fogg Art Museum, Har- 
vard University, Cambridge, Massa- 
chusetts, April 6-May 24 

Des Moines Art Center, Art in Iowa 
from Private Collections, October 19- 
November 24, 1963 

The Minneapolis Institute of Art, Four 
Centuries of American Art, November 
27, 1963-January 19, 1964. Catalogue 
with text by Marshall B. Davidson 

Robert Elkon Gallery, New York, Se- 
lected Paintings and Drawings by 20th 
Century European and American Ar- 
tists, November 1963 

National Gallery of Art, Washington, 
D.C., Paintings from The Museum of 



Modern Art, New York, December 16, 
1963-March 22, 1964 

Rose Fried Gallery, New York, Modern 
Masters, January 11-February 15, 
1964 

Yale University Art Gallery, New 
Haven, Ernst and Gorky from the Col- 
lection of Julien Levy, March 19-May 
3, 1964 

City Art Museum, St. Louis, 200 Years 
of American Painting, April 1-May 31, 
1964. Catalogue with texts by Charles 
Nagel and Merrill C. Rueppel 

Fine Arts Gallery. Indiana University, 
Bloomington, American Painting 
1910-1960, April 1 8-May 10, 1964. 
Catalogue with text by Henry R. Hope 

Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, 
Cambridge, Massachusetts, Within the 
Easel Convention : Sources of Abstract 
Expressionism, May 7-June 7, 1964. 
Catalogue with text by Rosalind 
Krauss 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
New York, American Drawings, Sep- 
tember 17-October 22, 1964. Cata- 
logue with text by Lawrence All oway. 
Traveled to Museum of Art, Univer- 
sity of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Novem- 
ber 11 -December 13; Grand Rapids 
Art Museum, Michigan, January 10- 
February 7, 1965; University Gallery, 
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 
February 24-March 21 ; Seattle Art 
Museum, April 8-May 2; The Denver 
Art Museum, June 6-July 4; Dallas 
Museum of Fine Arts, July 25-August 
22; The Columbus Gallery of Fine 
Arts, Ohio, Septemberl2-Octoberl0; 
Krannert Art Museum, University of 
Illinois, Champaign, November 15- 
December 5 

Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, 
Waltham, Massachusetts, The Painter 
and the Photograph, October 5- 
November 1, 1964. Checklist 

Emily Genauer, "Painting What The 
Camera Saw," New York Herald 
Tribune, October 25, 1964 

Tate Gallery, London, The Peggy 
Guggenheim Collection, December 31, 
1964-March 7, 1965. Catalogue with 
texts by Peggy Guggenheim and Her- 
bert Read 

M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York, 
Lawyers Collect, January 13-30, 1965 

The Brooklyn Museum, Paintings from 
the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Foundation 
Collection : A View of the Protean Cen- 
tury, February 8 -April 5, 1965. Cata- 
logue with text by H. H. Arnason 

Providence Art Club, Rhode Island, Cri- 
tic's Choice: Art Since World War II, 
March 31-April 24, 1965. Catalogue 
with texts by Thomas B. Hess, Hilton 
Kramer and Harold Rosenberg 



271 



Everhart Museum, Scranton, Pennsyl- 
vania, Non-Objective Paintings from 
the Michener Collection, May 1-30, 
1965 

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 
The New York School: The First 
Generation, Paintings of the 1940 'sand 
1950's, July 16-August 1, 1965. Cata- 
logue with excerpts from texts by 
Lawrence Alloway, Robert Gold- 
water, Clement Greenberg, Harold 
Rosenberg, William Rubin and Meyer 
Schapiro and reprinted texts by parti- 
cipating artists 

Allan Stone Gallery, New York, De 
Kooning, Pollock, Newman, Gorky, 
Cornell, October 26-November 13, 
1965 

National Collection of Fine Arts, Wa- 
shington, D.C., Roots of Abstract Art 
in America, 1910-1930, December 2, 
1965-January 9, 1966. Catalogue with 
texts by Adelyn Breeskin, Duncan 
Phillips, John Marin, David Scott and 
Alfred Stieglitz 

Fondation Maeght, St. Paul de Vence, 
France, Dix ans d'art vivant: 1945- 
1955, April 9-May 3 1 , 1966. Catalogue 
with text by Francois Wehrlin 

Seven Decades, 1895-1965: Crosscur- 
rents in Modern Art, April 26-May 21 , 
1966. Organized by Public Education 
Association, New York. Catalogue 
with text by Peter Selz. Exhibition 
divided among New York galleries 
Paul Rosenberg and Co., 1895-1904 
M. Knoedler&Co., Inc., 1905-1914 
Perls Galleries, E. V. Thaw & Co., 
1915-1924; Saidenberg Gallery, 1925- 
1934; Stephen Hahn Gallery, 1925- 
1934; Pierre Matisse Gallery, 1935- 
1944; Andre Emmerich Gallery, 
Galleria Odyssia, 1945-1954; Cordier 
and Ekstrom, Inc., 1955-1965 

Allentown Art Museum, Pennsylvania, 
New Acquisitions 1963-1966: The 
James A. Michener Foundation Collec- 
tion, May 13-July 5, 1966 

Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, 2 
Generations: Picasso to Pollock, 
January 3-27, 1967. Catalogue 

Marlborough-Gerson Gallery, New 
York, The New York Painter, A Cen- 
tury of Teaching: Morse to Hofmann, 
September 22-October 14, 1967. Ca- 
talogue with texts by Milton W. 
Brown, Howard Conant, Ruth Gurin 
and Albert Ten Eyck Gardner 

M. Knoedler & Cie, Paris, Six peintres 
americains: Gorky, Kline, de Kooning, 
Newman, Pollock, Rothko, October 
19-November 25, 1967. Catalogue 
with reprinted texts by participating 
artists 

Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 
The Netherlands, Kompass III: Schil- 
derkunst na 1945 uit New York: 
Paintings after 1945 in New York, 



November 9-December 17, 1967. Ca- 
talogue in Dutch and English with text 
by Jean Leering. Traveled with separ- 
ate catalogue in German and English 
with text by Leering to Frankfurter 
Kunstverein as Kompass New York, 
December 30, 1967-February 11, 1968 

Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna, Torino, 
Le Muse Inquietanti: Maestro del 
Surrealismo, November 1967-January 
1968. Catalogue 

M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York, 
Space and Dream, December 5-29, 
1967. Catalogue with text by Robert 
Goldwater 

John Ashbery, "They Came from 
Inner Space," Art News, vol. 66, 
December 1967, pp.48-49, 58 

The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, 77;e Sidney and Harriet Janis 
Collection, January 17-March4, 1968. 
Catalogue with text by Alfred H. 
Barr, Jr. Traveled to The Minnea- 
polis Institute of Arts, May 15— July 
28; Portland Art Museum, Oregon, 
September 13-October 13; Pasadena 
Art Museum, November 11-Decem- 
ber 15; San Francisco Museum of Art, 
January 13-February 16, 1969; Seattle 
Art Museum, March 12-April 13; 
The Detroit Institute of Arts, July 14- 
August 17; Albright-Knox Art Gal- 
lery, Buffalo, September 15-October 
19; The Cleveland Museum of Art, 
November 1, 1969-January 4, 1970. 
Traveled under auspices of The Inter- 
national Council of The Museum of 
Modern Art with separate catalogue 
in language of each country to Kunst- 
halle Basel, February 28-March 30; 
The Institute of Contemporary Arts, 
London, May 1-31; Akademie der 
Kiinste, Berlin, June 12-August; 
Kunsthalle Niirnberg, September 11- 
October 25 ; Wurttembergischer Kun- 
stverein, Stuttgart, as Von Surrea- 
lismus bis zur Pop Art, November 12- 
December 27; with no catalogue to 
Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles, 
January 7-February 11, 1971; with 
separate catalogue with text by Hel- 
mut R. Leppien to Kunsthalle Koln as 
Von Picasso bis Warhol, March 5- 
April 18 

Art Gallery, University of California, 
Irvine, Twentieth-Century Works on 
Paper, January 30-February 25, 1968. 
Catalogue with text by James Monte. 
Traveled to Memorial Union Art 
Gallery, University of California, 
Davis, March 26-ApriI 20 

University Art Museum, University of 
Texas at Austin, Painting as Painting, 
February 18-ApriI 1, 1968. Catalogue 
with texts by Dore Ashton, Louis Fin- 
kelstein and George McNeil 

Finch College Museum of Art, New 
York, Betty Parson's Private Collec- 
tion, March 13-April 24, 1968. Cata- 



logue with text by E. C. Goossen 

Rosalind Constable, "The Betty Par- 
sons Collection." Art News, vol. 67, 
March 1968, pp. 48-49, 58-60 

The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, Dada, Surrealism and Their 
Heritage, March 26-June 9, 1968. 
Catalogue with text by William S. 
Rubin. Traveled to Los Angeles 
County Museum of Art, July 16- 
September 8; The Art Institute of 
Chicago, October 1 9-December 8 

National Collection of Fine Arts, Smith- 
sonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 
Contemporary American Art, May 3- 
June 1, 1968 

Honolulu Academy of Arts, Signals in 
the Sixties, October 5 -December 10, 

1968. Catalogue with text by James 
Johnson Sweeney 

Riverside Art Center and Museum, 
University of California, Riverside, 
Dada, Surrealism and Today, October 
7-28, 1968. Traveled to San Francisco 
Museum of Art, November 11- 
December 8; University Art Museum, 
University of Texas at Austin, January 
6-27, 1969; St. Cloud State College, 
St. Cloud, Minnesota, February 14- 
March 9; University of Manitoba, 
Winnipeg, March 24-April 14 

Whitney Museum of American Art, New 
York, The 1930's: Painting and Sculp- 
ture in America, October 15-Decem- 
ber 1, 1968. Catalogue with text by 
William C. Agee 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
New York, Works from the Peggy 
Guggenheim Foundation, January 16- 
March 23, 1969. Catalogue with text 
by Peggy Guggenheim 

The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, The New American Painting and 
Sculpture: The First Generation, June 
18-October 5, 1969. Checklist with 
anonymous text 

Charlotte Lichtblau, "The First Gen- 
eration," Arts Magazine, vol. 43, Sum- 
mer 1969, pp. 37-39 

M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York, 
Gorky, de Kooning, Newman, June 26- 
September 20, 1969 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New 
York, New York Painting and Sculp- 
ture: 1940-1970, October 16, 1969- 
February 1, 1970. Catalogue with re- 
printed or revised texts by Michael 
Fried, Henry Geldzahler, Clement 
Greenberg, Harold Rosenberg, Rob- 
ert Rosenblum and William Rubin 

Mahonri Sharp Young, "The Metro- 
politan Museum of Art Centenary 
Exhibitions — I: The New York 
School," Apollo, vol. 90, November 

1969, pp. 426-432 

University Art Museum, University of 



272 



Texas at Austin, Selected Paintings 
from the Michener Collection, Novem- 
ber 2, 1969-January 5, 1970 

Pasadena Art Museum, Painting in New 
York: 1944 to 1969, November 24, 
1969-January 11, 1970. Catalogue 
with text by Alan R. Solomon 

The Art Galleries, University of Cali- 
fornia, Santa Barbara, Trends in 
Twentieth Century Art: a loan exhibi- 
tion from the San Francisco Museum of 
Art, January 6-February 1, 1970. 
Catalogue with text by Alan Story 

The Wilmington Society of Fine Arts, 
Delaware Art Center, Contemporary 
American Painting and Sculpture from 
New York Galleries, April 2-26, 1970 

Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, The Thir- 
ties Decade: American Artists and 
Their European Contemporaries, Octo- 
ber 10-November 28, 1970 

Baukunst, Cologne, Der Geist der Sur- 
realismus, October-November 1971 

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 
Drawings and Watercolors from Min- 
nesota's Private Collections, May 13- 
June 15, 1971. Catalogue with text by 
Edward A. Foster 

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, 
Abstract Expressionism : The First and 
Second Generations in the Albright- 
Knox Art Gallery, January 19-Febru- 
ary 20, 1972. Catalogue 

The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleve- 
land Collects Contemporary Art, July 
11-August 20, 1972. Catalogue with 
text by Edward B. Henning 

University of Maryland Art Gallery, 
Department of Art, University of 
Maryland, College Park, 77;^ Private 
Collection of Martha Jackson, June 
22-September 30, 1973. Catalogue 
with texts by David Anderson, Adelyn 
Breeskin and Elayne H. Varian. 
Traveled to Finch College Museum of 
Art, New York, October 16-Novem- 
ber 25; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 
Buffalo, January 8-February 10, 1974 

National Gallery of Art, Washington, 
D.C., American Art at Mid-Century I, 
October 28, 1973-January 6, 1974. 
Catalogue with texts by William C. 
Seitz and participating artists 

The Hayden Gallery, Massachusetts 
Institute of Technology, Cambridge, 
Drawings by Five Abstract Expres- 
sionist Painters: Arshile Gorky, Philip 
G us ton, Franz Kline, Willem de 
Kooning, Jackson Pollock, February 
21-March 26, 1975. Catalogue with 
text by Eila Kokkinen. Traveled in 
part to Museum of Contemporary 
Art, Chicago, January 10-February 9, 
1976 

M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York, 
American Works on Paper 1945-1975, 
November-December 1975 



The Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton, 
Canada, 77ie Collective Unconscious: 
American and Canadian Art: 1940- 
1950, December 5, 1975-January 18, 
1976. Catalogue with text by Karen 
Willen 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
New York, Twentieth Century Ameri- 
can Drawing: Three Avant-Garde 
Generations, January 23-March 28, 
1976. Catalogue with text by Diane 
Waldman. Traveled with separate cat- 
alogue in German with text by Diane 
Waldman to Staatliche Kunsthalle, 
Baden-Baden, May 27-July 1 1 ; Kunst- 
halle, Bremen, July 18-August 29 

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gar- 
den, Smithsonian Institution, Wash- 
ington, D.C., The Golden Door: 
Artist Immigrants of America 1876- 
1976, May 20-October 20, 1976. Cat- 
alogue with texts by Daniel J. Boor- 
stin and Cynthia Jaffee McCabe 

The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, The Natural Paradise: Painting 
in America 1800-1950, October 1- 
November 30, 1976. Catalogue with 
texts by Kynaston McShine, Barbara 
Novak, Robert Rosenblum and John 
Wilmerding 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 
New York, Acquisition Priorities: 
Aspects of Postwar Painting in Ameri- 
ca; Including Arshile Gorkv: Works 
1944-1948, October 15, 1976-January 
16, 1977. Catalogue 

Milwaukee Art Center, From Foreign 
Shores: Three Centuries of Art by 
Foreign Born American Masters, 
Octoberl5-November28, 1976. Cata- 
logue with text by I. Michael Danoff 

M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York, 
Works on Paper I Collages and Draw- 
ings by Arshile Gorky, Robert Mother- 
well and David Smith, October 19- 
November 20, 1976 

Tyler Art Gallery, State University of 
New York College of Arts and Sci- 
ences, Oswego, 77;e New Deal for Art, 
January 25-February 13, 1977. Orga- 
nized by the Gallery Association of 
New York State. Catalogue with texts 
by Gerald E. Markowitz and Marlene 
Park. Traveled to The Picker Gallery, 
Colgate University, Hamilton, New 
York, February 27-March 20; Albany 
Institute of History and Art, May 17- 
June 8; Delaware Art Museum, Wil- 
mington, July 29-August 28 ; Munson- 
Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica, Sep- 
tember 4-September 25 ; Fosdick-Nel- 
son Gallery, New York State College 
of Ceramics at Alfred University, 
October; Grey Art Gallery and Study 
Center, New York University, No- 
vember 17, 1976-January 3, 1977; 
Huntington Galleries, Huntington, 
West Virginia; January 10-February 3 

Xavier Fourcade, Inc., New York, 



Works on Paper, Small Formats, 
Objects: Duchamp to Heizer, February 
15-March 19, 1977 

The Bell Gallery, List Art Building, 
Brown University, Providence, Rhode 
Island, Graham, Gorky, Smith and 
Davis in the Thirties, April 30-May 
22, 1977. Catalogue 

Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre 
National d'Art et de Culture Georges 
Pompidou, Paris, Paris-New York, 
June 1 -September 19, 1977. Catalogue 

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Modern 
American Paintings 1910-1940: To- 
ward a New Perspective, July 1- 
September 25, 1977. Catalogue with 
text by William C. Agee 

Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh 
Festival, Modern Spirit: American 
Painting 1908-1935, August 20- 
September 11, 1977. Catalogue with 
text by Milton W. Brown. Traveled to 
Hayward Gallery, London, September 
28-November 20 

San Jose Museum of Art, California, 
Post War Modernism, November 4- 
December 31, 1977 

Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, 
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, 
Abstract Expressionism: The Forma- 
tive Years, March 30-May 14, 1978. 
Organized in collaboration with the 
Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York. Catalogue with texts by 
Robert Carleton Hobbs and Gail 
Levin. Traveled to Seibu Department 
Store, Tokyo, June 17-July 12; 
Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York, October 5-December 3 

Wellesley College Museum, Wellesley, 
Massachusetts, One Century: Welles- 
ley Families Collect, April 15-May 
30, 1978. Catalogue 

Montgomery Museum of Fine Art, 
Montgomery, Alabama, American Art 
1934-1956: Selections from the 
Whitney Museum of American Art, 
April 26-June 1 1,1978. Catalogue with 
texts by Tom Armstrong and Diane J. 
Gingold. Traveled to Brookes Mem- 
orial Art Gallery, Memphis, June 
30-August 6; Mississippi Museum of 
Art, Jackson, August 21-October 1 

National Gallery of Art, Washington, 
D.C., American Art at Mid-Century: 
The Subjects of the Artist, June 1, 
1978-January 14, 1979. Catalogue 
with texts by E. A. Carmean Jr., 
Thomas B. Hess and Eliza E. Rath- 
bone 

Williams College Museum of Art, Wil- 
liamstown, Massachusetts, Docu- 
ments, Drawings, and Collages: Fifty 
American Works on Paper from the 
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen D. 
Paine, June 8-30, 1979. Catalogue 

The Cleveland Museum of Art, The 



273 



Spirit of Surrealism, October 3- 
November 25, 1979. Catalogue with 
text by Edward B. Henning 

The David and Alfred Smart Gallery, 
University of Chicago, Abstract Ex- 
pressionism: A Tribute to Harold 
Rosenberg: Paintings and Drawings 
from Chicago Collectors, October 11- 
November 25, 1979. Catalogue 

The Contemporary Arts Center, Cincin- 
nati, The Modern Art Society, The 
Center's Early Years 1939-1954: An 
Exhibition in Celebration of the 40th 
Anniversary of the Contemporary Art 
Center, October 12-November 26, 
1979. Catalogue with texts by Peggy 
Frank Crawford, Rita Rentschler 
Cushman, Edward H. Dwight, Ruth 
K. Meyer, Betty Pollack Rauti and 
Robert Stern 

Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, Inc., New 
York, Works on Paper, November 7- 
December 1, 1979 



II. One-Man Exhibitions 
and Selected Reviews 

Mellon Galleries, Philadelphia, Arshile 
Gorky, February 2-15, 1934. Check- 
list with texts by Holger Cahill, Stuart 
Davis, F.J. Kiesler and Harriet Jan- 
owitz 

C.H. Bonte, "In Gallery and Studio," 
Philadelphia Inquirer, February 1 1 , 
1934 

Boyer Galleries, Philadelphia [Arshile 
Gorky], September 1935 

"Exhibition Talks Planned by Boyer," 
Philadelphia Record, October 13, 1935 

Guild Art Gallery, New York, Abstract 
Drawings by Arshile Gorky, Decem- 
ber 16, 1935-January 5, 1936. Check- 
list with text by Holger Cahill 

Jerome Klein, "Gorky Exhibits Ab- 
stract Works," New York Post, De- 
cember 21, 1935 

"Arshile Gorky Exhibits," Art Digest, 
vol. 10, January 1, 1936, p. 21 

James W. Lane, "Current Exhibi- 
tions," Parnassus, vol. 8, March 1936, 
p. 27 

Boyer Gallery, New York [Arshile 
Gorky], 1938 

San Francisco Museum of Art, Arshile 
Gorky, August 9-24, 1941 

Alfred Frankenstein [Review], San 
Francisco Chronicle, August 17, 1941, 
p. 11 

Alexander Fried, "Gorky Oils of 
Surrealist School," San Francisco 
Examiner, August 17, 1941 



Emilia Hodel, "Leger's [. . .]," San 
Francisco News, August 17, 1941, p. 8 

Julien Levy Gallery, New York, Arshile 
Gorky, March 6-31, 1945. Checklist 
with "The Eye Spring: Arshile 
Gorky," by Andre Breton (translated 
by Julien Levy). Reprinted in: Schwa- 
bacher, 1957, see Monographs, p. 280; 
as "Arshile Gorky: the Eye-Spring," 
// Is, no. 4, Autumn 1959, pp. 56-57; 
in Washburn Gallery Catalogue, 
1978, See One-Man Exhibitions, p. 277 

Maude Riley, "The Eye-Spring: Ar- 
shile Gorky," Art Digest, vol. 19, 
March 15, 1945, p. 10 

"The Passing Shows," Art News, vol. 
44, March 15, 1945, p. 24 

Robert M. Coates, "The Art Galler- 
ies," The New Yorker, vol. 21, March 
17, 1945, p. 77 

Clement Greenberg, "Art," The Na- 
tion, vol. 160, March 24, 1945, pp. 
342-343 

Julien Levy Gallery, New York, Paint- 
ings by Arshile Gorky, April 9-May 4, 
1946 

"Reviews and Previews," Art News, 
vol. 45, April 1946, p. 54 

Judith Kaye Reed, "Salvaged from 
Fire," Art Digest, vol. 20, May 1, 
1946, p. 13 

Clement Greenberg, "Art," The Na- 
tion, vol. 162, May 4, 1946, p. 13 

"New York Exhibits," MKR'S Art 
Outlook, no. 11, June 1946, p. 7 

Julien Levy Gallery, New York, Arshile 
Gorky, Colored Drawings, February 
18-March 8, 1947 

Alonzo Lansford, "Concentrated 
Doodles," Art Digest, vol. 21, March 
1, 1947, p. 18 

"Reviews and Previews," Art News, 
vol.46, March 1947, p. 43 

Julien Levy Gallery, New York, Arshile 
Gorky, February 29-March 20, 1948 

Sam Hunter, "Modernism By Four, 
Abstraction, Surrealism In Current 
Shows," The New York Times, Feb- 
ruary 29, 1948, section 2, p.8 

Clement Greenberg, "Art," The Na- 
tion, vol. 166, March 20, 1948, pp. 
331-332 

Clement Greenberg, "Art Chronicle," 
Partisan Review, vol. 15, March 1948, 
p. 369 

"Reviews and Previews," Art News, 
vol. 47, March 1948, p. 46 

Julien Levy Gallery, New York, Arshile 
Gorky, 1905-1948, November 16- 
December 4, 1948. Checklist 

Henry McBride [Review], The New 
York Sun, November 17, 1948 

Sam Hunter, "Chiefly Abstract," The 



New York Times, November 21, 1948, 
section 2, p. 9 

Clement Greenberg, "Art," The Na- 
tion, vol. 167, December 11, 1948, p. 
676 

"Reviews and Previews," Art News, 
vol. 47, December 1948, pp. 53-54 

Kootz Gallery, New York, Selected 
Paintings by the Late Arshile Gorky, 
March 28-ApriI 24, 1950. Checklist 
with text by Adolph Gottlieb 

Margaret Breuning, "Fifty-Seventh 
Street in Review: A Memorial for 
Arshile Gorky," Art Digest, vol. 24, 
April 1, 1950, p. 18 

Howard Devree, "By Contempora- 
ries: Museum Shows Its Recent 
Acquisitions — Gorky, Lebrun, de 
Martini, Dozier," The New York 
Times, April 2, 1950, p. 8 

Weldon Kees, "Art," The Nation, vol. 
170, April 8, 1950, pp. 333-334 

Thomas B. Hess, "Reviews and Pre- 
views," Art News, vol. 49, April 1950, 
p. 45 

Clement Greenberg, "Art Chronicle," 
Partisan Review, vol. 17, May/June 

1950, pp. 512-513 

Whitney Museum of American Art, New 
York, Arshile Gorky Memorial Ex- 
hibition, January 5-February 18, 1951. 
Catalogue with text by Ethel Schwa- 
bacher and biographical notes by 
Lloyd Goodrich. Traveled to Walker 
Art Center, Minneapolis, March 4- 
April 22; San Francisco Museum of 
Art, May 9-JuIy 9 

Aline Louchheim, "Contemporary 
Art in New York," The Atlantic 
Monthly, \o\. 186, December 1950, pp. 
65-66 

"Whitney Honors Gorky," Art Digest, 
vol. 25, January 1, 1951, p. 6 

Howard Devree, "Whitney to Offer 
Arshile Gorky Art," The New York 
Times, January 4, 1951, p. 27 

Carlyle Burrows, "Memorial Show of 
Arshile Gorky Art will open at Whit- 
ney Museum Today," The New York 
Herald Tribune, January 5, 1951, p. 19 

Howard Devree, "A Memorable 
Year," The New York Times, January 
7, 1951, section 2, p. 2 

Emily Genauer, "Art and Artists: The 
Whitney's Memorial Exhibition: The 
Arshile Gorky Tragedy," The New 
York Herald Tribune, January 14, 

1951, section 4, p. 6 

"Gorky: Was He Tops or Second 
Rate?," Art Digest, vol. 25, January 
15, 1951, pp. 9, 30 

Robert M. Coates, "The Art Galleries : 
Moderns — Past and Present," The 
New Yorker, vol.26, January 20, 1951, 
pp. 60, 62-63 



274 



Manny Farber, "Art," The Nation, vol. 
172, January 27, 1951, p. 92 

The Gotchnag ( The Armenian Weekly), 
vol. LI, January 27, 1951, pp. 82-83 

Elaine de Kooning, "Gorky: Painter of 
His Own Legend," Art News, vol.49, 
January 1951, pp. 38^11, 63-66 

"Fiery River of Images," Pictures on 
Exhibit, vol. 13, January 1951, pp. 4-5 

"Modernist at Art Center," Minnea- 
polis Sunday Tribune, March 4, 1951, 
p. F 13 

Huldah Curl, "Arshile Gorky Mem- 
orial Exhibition," Walker Art Center, 
Minneapolis, Notes and Comments, 
vol. 5, March 1951, pp. 1-2 

Alfred Frankenstein, "Around the 
Local Art Galleries," San Francisco 
Chronicle, May 13, 1951, p. 28 

Louise Ballard, "Art," Arts & Archi- 
tecture, vol. 68, May 1951, pp. 10-11 

Kootz Gallery, New York, Drawings in 
Color by Arshile Gorky, January 23- 
February 10, 1951 

Jfames] F[itzsimmons], "Fifty- 
Seventh Street in Review: Arshile 
Gorky," Art Digest, vol. 25, February 
1, 1951, p. 19 

R[obert] Gfoodnough], "Reviews 
and Previews," Art News, vol. 49, 
February 1951, p. 46 

Paul Kantor Gallery, Los Angeles, Ar- 
shile Gorky: Paintings and Drawings, 
1 928-1 937, opened June 12, 1952 

The Art Museum, Princeton Univer- 
sity, Princeton, New Jersey, Arshile 
Gorky: A Loan Exhibition of Paintings 
and Drawings, October 5-26, 1952. 
Checklist 

William Seitz, "A Gorky Exhibit," 
Daily Princetonian, vol. 76, October 
14, 1952, p. 2 

Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, Arshile 
Gorky in the Final Years, February 
16-March 14, 1953. Poster/Checklist 

Stuart Preston, "Tradition To Novel- 
ty," The New York Times, February 
22, 1953, section 2, p. 10 

Robert M. Coates, "The Art Galler- 
ies: All Moderns," The New Yorker, 
vol. 27, February 28, 1953, pp. 83-84 

James Fitzsimmons, "57th Street: The 
Late Gorky," Art Digest, vol. 27, 
March 1, 1953, p. 16 

Henry McBride, "By Henry McBride: 
Success at Last," Art News, vol. 52, 
April 1953, pp. 66-67 

Martha Jackson Gallery, New York, 
Gorky, Works of the Middle Period/ 
Trokes, Recent Gouaches and Draw- 
ings, March 27-April 24, 1954 

Sam Feinstein, "Fortnight in Review, 
A Gallery Itinerary," Art Digest, vol. 



28, April 15, 1954, p. 21 

Fairfield Porter, "Reviews and Pre- 
views," Art News, vol. 53, April 

1954, p. 53 

Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, Draw- 
ings for Principal Paintings by Gorky, 
September 26-October 22, 1955 

Emily Genauer, "Gorky, Now Leg- 
end, in Week's New Shows," The 
Herald Tribune Book Review, October 
2, 1955, p. 10 

Stuart Preston, "Modern Work In 
Diverse Shows," The New York Times, 
October 2, 1955, section 2, p. 15 

Hilton Kramer, "Drawings from Gor- 
ky's Last Years at the Janis Gallery," 
Arts, vol. 30, October 1955, pp. 48-49 

Fairfield Porter, "Reviews and Pre- 
views," Art News, vol. 54, November 

1955, p. 50 

Dore Ashton, "Drawings at the Janis 
Gallery," Arts & Architecture, vol. 72, 
December 1955, p. 34 

Galleria dell'Obelisco, Rome, Arshile 
Gorky, opened February 4, 1957. 
Checklist with text by Afro Basaldella 

La Loggia, Bologna, Disegni di Arshile 
Gorky, March 28-April 9, 1957 

Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, Thirty 
Three Paintings by Arshile Gorky, 
December 2-28, 1957. Catalogue 

Carlyle Burrows, "Gorky's Art Show 
Provocative," The New York Herald 
Tribune Book Review, December 8, 
1957, p. 14 

Howard Devree, "Diverse Moderns — 
Gorky in Retrospect — Others," The 
New York Times, December 8, 1957, 
p. 24 

Bennett Schiff, "In the Art Galleries," 
The New York Post, December 8, 
1957, p. 7 

Robert M. Coates, "The Art Galler- 
ies," 77ie New Yorker, vol. 33, De- 
cember 14, 1957, pp. 141-142, 145 

James Schuyler, "Reviews and Pre- 
views," Art News, vol. 56, December 
1957, p. 10 

"Exhibition at Janis Gallery," Arts, 
vol. 32, Decen.ber 1957, p. 52 

Dore Ashton, "Gorky & Contempo- 
rary American Painting," Arts & Archi- 
tecture, vol. 75, January 1958, pp. 6, 

34 

Dore Ashton, "Lettre de New York," 
Cimaise, ser. 5., no. 3, January/Febru- 
ary 1958, pp. 36-37 

Pasadena Art Museum, Paintings by 
Arshile Gorky, January 3-February 2, 
1958 

Jules Langsner, "Los Angeles, Gorky: 
Myth vs. Reality," Art News, vol. 56, 
February 1958, p. 47 



Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, Late 
Drawings by Arshile Gorky, September 
28-October 24, 1959. Catalogue with 
anonymous text 

Stuart Preston, "Modern Pioneers," 
The New York Times, October 4, 1959, 
section 2, p. xl3 

Hubert Crehan, "Gorky," Art News, 
vol. 58, October 1959, p. 12 

James R. Mellow, "Late Drawings of 
Arshile Gorky," Arts, vol. 34, October 
1959, pp. 55-56 

Dore Ashton, "Art," Arts & Archi- 
tecture, vol. 76, December 1959, p. 7 

Martica Sawin, "New York Letter," 
Art International, vol. 3, December 
1959, p. 10 

University Gallery, University of Min- 
nesota, Minneapolis, Gorky Drawings, 
October 27-December 2, 1960 

David Anderson Gallery, New York, 
Arshile Gorky: Drawings 1929 to 1934, 
February 3-March 1, 1962. Catalogue 

"The Bitter One," Time, vol. 79, Feb- 
ruary 23, 1962, p. 83 

Max Kozloff,"New York Letter," Art 
International, vol. 6, April 1962, p. 42 

Sfidney] T[illim], "Gorky," Arts Mag- 
azine, vol. 36, April 1962, pp. 49-50 

Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, Paint- 
ings by Arshile Gorky from 1929 to 
1948, February 5-March 3, 1962. 
Catalogue 

Stuart Preston, "An International 
Gathering," The New York Times, 
February 11, 1962, section 2, p. 15 

"The Bitter One," Time, vol. 79, Feb- 
ruary 23, 1962, p. 83 

L[awrence] Qampbell], "Reviews and 
Previews," Art News, vol. 61, March 
1962, p. 12 

Max Kozloff, "New York Letter," Art 
International, vol. 6, April 1962, p. 42 

S[idney] Tfillim], "Gorky," Arts Mag- 
azine, vol. 36, April 1962, pp. 49-50 

Everett Ellin Gallery, Los Angeles, 
Arshile Gorky: 40 Drawings from the 
period 1929 through 1947, April 9- 
May 5, 1962. Catalogue 

XXXI Biennale Internazionale d'Arte: 
Arshile Gorky, Venice, June 16-Octo- 
ber 7, 1962. Catalogue with text by 
Umbro Apollonio, pp. 113-116 

Renato Barilli, "La Pittura di Arshile 
Gorky," La Biennale di Venezia, no. 
43, April/June 1962, pp. 11-17 

Umbro Apollonio, "Una Retrospet- 
tiva alia Biennale: Gorky," Le Arti, 
May 1962, p. 32 

Mario Monteverdi, "La Biennale del 
pressappoco," Corriere Lombardo — 
Milan, June 14, 1962 

"Sei rassegne retrospettive sessanta 



275 



esposizione italiani," // Gazzettino, 
Venice, June 15, 1962 

Heinz Keller, "Venedig XXXI Bien- 
nale," Werk, no. 49, sup. 183, August 
1962, pp. 183-187 

" Visita alia Biennale e prime imagini," 
Domus, no. 393, August 1962, p. 21 

Henry Galy-Carles, "La Biennale de 
Venise: Les Retrospectives d'Odilon 
Redon et d'Arshile Gorky," Aujourd' 
hui, vol. 6, September 1962, p. 39 

Milton Gendel, "The Venice bazaar, 
1962," Art News, vol. 61, September 
1962, pp. 21-23, 53-54 

Guy Habasque, "La XXXI C Biennale 
de Venise," L'Oeil, no. 93, September 
1962, pp. 32-41, 72-73 

Robert Melville, "Exhibitions: The 
Venice Biennale," Architectural Re- 
view, vol. 132, October 1962, p. 285 

Klaus Jiirgen-Fischer, "XXXI Bien- 
nale Venedig," Das Kunstwerk, vol. 
16, September 1963, p. 3 

Arshile Gorky Drawings. Organized by 
The International Council of The 
Museum of Modern Art, New York. 
Catalogue with text by Frank O'Hara. 
Traveled to Newcomb College, Tulane 
University, New Orleans, September 
23-October 14, 1962; Chatham Col- 
lege, Pittsburgh, October 29-Novem- 
ber 19; Watkins Institute, Nashville, 
Tennessee, January 9-30, 1963; Spiva 
Art Center, Joplin, Missouri, Feb- 
ruary 7-28; Smith College Museum 
of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts, 
March 15— April 5; Marshall College, 
Huntington, West Virginia, April 22- 
May 13; with bilingual catalogue to 
Seibu Department Store, Tokyo, July 
26-August 1 1 ; to Westmar College, 
LeMars, Iowa, September 2-23; 
Washington University, St. Louis, 
October 4-25 ; The Arts Club of Chica- 
go, November 10-December 15; 
Indiana University, Bloomington, 
January 2-23, 1964; Wells College, 
Aurora, New York, February 7-28; 
Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, 
March 16— April 6; The Jewish Mus- 
eum, New York, April 21-June 22; 
under auspices of United States Infor- 
mation Service with catalogue Zeich- 
nungen von Arshile Gorky with text by 
Frank O'Hara to Badischer Kunst- 
verein, Karlsruhe, July 6-August 5; 
Hamburger Kunstverein, Hamburg, 
August 7-September 4; Amerika 
Haus, Berlin, September 11-October 
6; Museum Folkwang, Essen, October 
15-November 15; under auspices of 
Arts Council of Great Britain with 
catalogue with text by Frank O'Hara 
to York City Art Gallery, December 
5-30; Institute of Contemporary Arts, 
London, January 6-February 13, 
1965; Midland Group Gallery, Not- 
tingham, February 20-March 6; City 
Gallery of Art, Bristol, March 13- 



April 3; Scottish National Gallery of 
Modern Art, Edinburgh, April 10- 
May 1; with additional exhibition, 
Arshile Gorky, Paintings and Draw- 
ings, see Tate Gallery, 1965, p. 277, 
to Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, 
May 27-June 27; with catalogue 
Arshile Gorky, Schilderijen en Tekenin- 
gen with texts by J.C. Ebbinge Wub- 
ben and Robert Melville to Museum 
Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 
July 24-September 5; with catalogue 
Gorky with text by Frank O'Hara to 
Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, Vien- 
na, September 18-October 17; with 
catalogue Desenhos de Gorky with text 
by Frank O'Hara to Sociedade Na- 
tional de Belas Artes, Lisbon, Novem- 
ber 23-December 23; with catalogue 
Tegninger av Arshile Gorky to Kunst- 
nernes Hus, Oslo, January 22- 
February 13, 1966; with catalogue 
Teckningar av Arshile Gorky to Lunds 
Konsthall, Lund, Sweden, March 5- 
April 1 ; with catalogue Zeichnungen 
von Arshile Gorky, 1905-1948 with 
text by Frank O'Hara to Kunstmu- 
seum Basel, Offentliche Kunstsam- 
mlung, April 30-June 5; with catalo- 
gue Arshile Gorky with text by Frank 
O'Hara to Galerija Grada Zagreba, 
Zagreb, Yugoslavia, June-July; Gale- 
rija Doma Omladine, Belgrade, 
October 6-16; Galleria Nazionale 
d'Arte Moderna, Rome, April 2-May 
15, 1967; with additional exhibition 
from The International Council of 
The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, Robert Motherwell: Works on 
Paper with catalogue "Sobre papel": 
Obras de Arshile Gorky with texts by 
Jorge Romero Brest, Frank O'Hara 
and Waldo Rasmussen to Centro de 
Artes Visuales del Instituto Torcuato 
Di Telia, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 
November 29-December 23; with 
catalogue "Sobre papel": Obras de 
Arshile Gorky y Obras de Robert 
Motherwell with texts by Frank O' 
Hara and Waldo Rasmussen to 
Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, 
January 21-February 14, 1968; with 
catalogue Dibiyos de Arshile Gorky y 
Obras Sobre Papel de Robert Mother- 
well with texts by Frank O'Hara and 
Waldo Rasmussen to Biblioteca Luis 
Angel Arango, Bogota, March 21- 
April 11; Galeria Universitaria Aris- 
tos, Mexico City, May 3-June 5 

Brian O'Doherty, "Gorky: Private 
Language, Universal Theme," The 
New York Times, May 10, 1964, sec- 
tion 2, p. 17 

Otto Breicha, "Wien: Arshile Gorky, 
Zeichnungen," Werk, vol. 52, Novem- 
ber 1965, p. 271 

C.H., "Basel: Zeichnungen von Ar- 
shile Gorky," Werk, vol. 53, June 
1966, pp. 133-134 

The Museum of Modern Art, New 



York, Arshile Gorky, 1904-1948, De- 
cember 19, 1962-February 12, 1963. 
Catalogue published as William C. 
Seitz, Arshile Gorky: Paintings, Draw- 
ings, Studies, New York, 1962, fore- 
word by Julien Levy. Traveled to The 
Washington Gallery of Modern Art, 
Washington, D.C., March 12-April 
14 

Jane Debran, "The Genius of Gorky 
on View," Brooklyn Eagle, December 
28, 1962 

"Tardy Tribute to a Tragic Figure," 
Life, extra New York edition, Decem- 
ber 29, 1962, pp. 52-53 

"The Bitter One," Newsweek, vol. 60, 
December 31, 1962, p. 39 

Suzanne Kiplinger, "Arshile Gorky," 
The Village Voice, January 3, 1963, 
P. 9 

Harold Rosenberg, "The Art Galle- 
ries, Art and Identity: The Unfinished 
Masterpiece," The New Yorker, vol. 
38, January 5, 1963, pp. 70-77. Slight- 
ly revised in Rosenberg, 1964, see 
General Books, p. 279 

Hilton Kramer, "Art," The Nation, 
vol. 196, January 5, 1963, pp. 38-39 

Alfred Frankenstein, "Gorky's Stat- 
ure Keeps Growing," San Francisco 
Chronicle, January 6, 1963 

Betty Kaufman, "Arshile Gorky." 
Commonweal, January 25, 1963, pp. 
473-475 

George Dennison, "The Crisis-Art of 
Arshile Gorky," Arts Magazine, vol. 
37, February 1963, pp. 14-18 
Stuart Preston, "New York," Burl- 
ington Magazine, vol. 105, February 
1963, p. 84 

Jean M. White, "Modern Art Gallery 
to Open Exhibit," The Washington 
Post, March 8, 1963, p. A7 

Leslie Judd Alexander, "Gorky, 
Greene Are on Exhibit," The Wash- 
ington Post, March 17, 1963, p. G6 

Lawrence Alloway, "Gorky," Art- 
forum, vol. 1, March 1963, pp. 28-31 

Dore Ashton, "New York," Das 
Kunstwerk, vol. 16, April 1963, p. 31 

Dore Ashton, "New York Commen- 
tary," Studio, vol. 163, May 1963, pp. 
182-183 

Irving Sandler, "New York Letter," 
Quadrum, no. 14, 1963, pp. 115-124 

The San Diego Art Institute and La 
Jolla Art Center, Arshile Gorky: 
Paintings and Drawings 1927-1937 ', 
from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. 
Hans Burkhardt, February 21-April 
7, 1963. Checklist with text by Hans 
Burkhardt 

J[on] R[euschel], "Arshile Gorky," 
Art forum, vol. 1, May 1963, pp. 46- 
47 



276 



G.S.S., "Gorky, when the going was 
rough," Art News, vol. 62, April 1963, 
pp. 27, 67 

Tate Gallery, London, Arshile Gorky, 
Paintings and Drawings, April 2-May 
2, 1965. Catalogue with texts by 
Robert Melville and William C. Seitz 

Francis Hoyland, "The Composer," 
The Listener, April 15, 1965, p. 568 

H.P., "Exhibition of Gorky Paintings 
at the Tate," The Irish Times, April 
28, 1965 

James Burr, "Cross-currents in Con- 
temporary Art," Apollo, vol. 81, April 
1965, p. 330 

Alastair Gordon, "Art in the Modern 
Manner," Connoisseur, vol. 158, April 
1965, p. 260 

Keith Roberts, "London," Burlington 
Magazine, vol. 107, May 1965, pp. 
270-271 

Joseph Rykwert, "Mostre a Londra," 
Domus, no. 428, July 1965, p. 63 

Cyril Barrett, "London Commen- 
tary," Das Kunstwerk, vol. 19, August 
1965, p. 28 

University Art Gallery, University of 
California, Berkeley, Arshile Gorky, 
Paintings and Drawings — 1927-1937, 
May 7-31, 1965 

Gallery Lounge, San Francisco State 
College, Arshile Gorky, Paintings and 
Drawings from 1927-1937, September 
14-October 10, 1965 

West Gallery, Pennsylvania Academy of 
Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Paintings and 
Drawings by Arshile Gorky, November 
8-December 10, 1967. Checklist 

Richard Feigen Gallery, Chicago, Ar- 
shile Gorky: Drawings from the Julien 
Levy Collection, March 1 8— April 26, 
1969. Catalogue 

J. Millard Tawes Fine Arts Center, Uni- 
versity of Maryland Art Department 
and Art Gallery, University of Mary- 
land, College Park, The Drawings of 
Arshile Gorky, March 20-April 27, 
1969. Catalogue by Brooks Joyner 
with texts by William H. Gerdts and 
George Levitine 

Hathorn Gallery, Skidmore College, 
Saratoga Springs, New York, The 
Drawings of Arshile Gorky, October 
21-November 9, 1969. Catalogue 

M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York, 
Gorky: Drawings, November 25- 
December 27, 1969. Catalogue with 
text by Jim M. Jordan 

Mfiriam] B[rummer], "Arshile 
Gorky," Arts Magazine, vol. 44, 
November 1969, p. 62 

Hilton Kramer, "Arshile Gorky: Be- 
tween Two Worlds," The New York 
Times, December 7, 1969, p. 29, sec- 



tion 2. Reprinted in Kramer, 1973, see 
General Books, p. 279 

Louis Finkelstein, "Becoming is 
Meaning: Gorky as a Draftsman," 
Art News, vol. 68, December 1969, pp. 
44^t7 

Dore Ashton, "New York Commen- 
tary," Studio International, vol. 179, 
February 1970, pp. 73-74 

Jerrold Lanes, "New York," Art- 
forum, vol. 8, February 1970, p. 74 

Carter Ratcliff, "New York Letter," 
Art International, vol. 14, February 
1970, pp. 77-78 

The J.L. Hudson Company Gallery, 
Detroit, Arshile Gorky Drawings, 
January 7-February 7, 1970 

Galerie Dieter Brusberg, Hannover, 
Arshile Gorky, June 8-September 12, 
1971 

Galleria Galatea, Turin, Arshile Gorky, 
February 29-March 27, 1972. Cata- 
logue with text by Tommaso Chiaretti 

Dunkelman [Gallery], Toronto, Arshile 
Gorky, 1904-1948, October 14-28, 

1972. Catalogue 

Joyce Zemans, "Arshile Gorky, 
Dunkelman Gallery," Artscanada, 
vol. 29, December 1972/January 1973, 
pp. 79-80 

Allan Stone Gallery, New York, Arshile 
Gorky, Paintings and Drawings, Nov- 
ember 14-December 22, 1972 

April Kingsley, "Reviews and Pre- 
views," Art News, vol. 72, January 

1973, p. 18 

April Kingsley, "New York Letter," 
Art International, vol. 17, February 
1973, p. 42 

Ellen Lubell, "Reviews," Arts Maga- 
zine, vol. 47, February 1973, p. 83 

Ruth S. Schaffner Gallery, Santa Bar- 
bara, Arshile Gorky, Drawings and 
Paintings from 1931 to 1940, March 
25-ApriI 29, 1973 

William Wilson, "In the Southern 
California Galleries: from Gorky to 
Ron Davis," Art News, vol. 72, Sum- 
mer 1973, p. 25 

Oklahoma Art Center, Oklahoma City, 
An Exhibition of Drawings by Arshile 
Gorky, October 28-November 25, 
1973. Catalogue with text by Karlen 
Mooradian. Traveled to Arkansas 
Art Center, Little Rock, December 18, 
1973-January 6, 1974; New Orleans 
Museum of Art, January 19-February 
17; Amarillo Art Center, Texas, 
March 10-April 7; University Mus- 
eum, Illinois State University, 
Normal, April 21-May 19 

M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York, 
Arshile Gorky: Works on Paper, 
January 9-February 1, 1975 



Hayden Herrera, "Arshile Gorky: 
Works on Paper," Art News, vol. 74, 
March 1975, pp. 97-105 

W. Neil Marshall, "Arshile Gorky," 
Arts Magazine, vol. 49, April 1975. p. 
71 

Roberta Smith, "Reviews," Artforum, 
vol. 13, April 1975, p. 75 

Nina Bremer, "Arshile Gorky: Works 
on Paper," Pantheon, vol. 33, July- 
August-September 1975, p. 277 

University Art Museum, University of 
Texas at Austin, Arshile Gorky: 
Drawings to Paintings, October 12- 
November 23, 1975. Catalogue with 
texts by Alice Baber, Donald B. 
Goodall, Isobel Grossman, Hayden 
Herrera, Jim M. Jordan, Karlen 
Mooradian, Reuben Nakian, Harry 
Rand, Ethel Schwabacher and the 
artist. Traveled to San Francisco 
Museum of Art, December 4, 1975- 
January 12, 1976; Neuberger Mu- 
seum, State University of New York, 
Purchase, New York, February 10- 
March 14; Munson-Williams-Proctor 
Institute, Utica, New York, April 4- 
May 9 

David Bourdon, "Gorky Translated 
Through Tragedy," The Village Voice, 
vol. 21, March 1, 1976, p. 99 

Hilton Kramer, "Gorky-Separating 
the Artist from the Myth," The New 
York Times, February 22, 1976 

Arshile Gorky: Paintings & Drawings 
1975-76. Organized by The Arts 
Council of Great Britain. Catalogue 
with text by John Golding. Traveled 
to The Museum of Modern Art, 
Oxford, December 19, 1976-January 
16, 1977; Serpentine Gallery, London, 
March 12-April 11 

James Burr, "Round the Galleries: 
The Last Seven Years," Apollo, 
March 1977, p. 219 

Washburn Gallery, New York, Arshile 
Gorky — In Memory, November 2-28, 
1978. Catalogue with reprinted texts 
by Andre Breton and Willem de 
Kooning 

Susan Grace Galassi, "Arshile 
Gorky," Arts Magazine, vol. 53, 
February 1979, p. 20 

Richard Whelan, "Arshile Gorky," 
Art News, vol. 78, January 1979, pp. 
139, 144 

The Newark Museum, Murals Without 
Walls: Arshile Gorky's Aviation 
Murals Rediscovered, November 15, 
1978-March 15, 1979. Catalogue with 
texts by Ruth Bowman, Jim M. 
Jordan, Samuel C. Miller and Francis 
V. O'Connor and reprinted texts by 
Frederick Kiesler and the artist. 
Traveled to Memorial Art Gallery, 
University of Rochester, New York, 



277 



July 1-August 6; Hirshhorn Museum 
and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian 
Institution, Washington, D.C., Oct- 
ober 4-November 25 

Sam Hunter, "Mural, Mural, Behind 
the Wall," New Jersey Monthly, vol. 
2, October 1978, pp. 44-47 

Vivien Raynor, "Art People: Phan- 
tom Mural Flys Again," The New 
York Times, November 10, 1978, p. 
C21 

"Murals without Walls," The Newark 
Museum News Notes, November 1978, 
pp. 1-2 



John Russell, "Art: Lost Murals of 
Arshile Gorky," The New York Times, 
November 24, 1978 

"Airport Archaeology," Art in Ameri- 
ca, vol. 65, January 1979, p. 146 

"Gorky's Murals without walls: 
Newark Museum," Progressive Archi- 
tecture, vol. 60, January 1979, pp. 23- 
24 

John Ashbery, "Sweet Arshile, Bless 
Your Dear Heart," New York Maga- 
zine, February 5, 1979, pp. 52-53 

E. Schwartz, "Gorky murals: a bit of 
detective work," Art News, vol. 78, 
February 1979, pp. 136-137 



Xavier Fourcade, Inc., New York, 
Arshile Gorky, Important Paintings 
and Drawings, April 3-28, 1979. 
Catalogue 

Hilton Kramer, "A Rare Gorky and 
Prints of Prendergast," The New 
York Times, April 13, 1979, pp. C 1, 
C 24 

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture 
Garden, Smithsonian Institution, 
Washington, D.C., Arshile Gorky: the 
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture 
Garden Collection, October 4-Nov- 
ember 25, 1979. Catalogue with text 
by Phyllis Rosen zweig 



278 



Selected Bibliography 



I. General 



A. BOOKS 

John D. Graham, System and Dialectics of Art, New York, 
1937. Reprinted as John D. Graham's System and Dialectics 
of Art, Marcia Epstein Allentuck, ed., Baltimore, 1971 

Jerome Mellquist, The Emergence of an American Art, New 
York, 1942, p. 169 

Samuel M. Kootz, New Frontiers in American Painting, New 
York, 1943, p. 49 

Sidney Janis, Abstract and Surrealist Art in America, New 
York, 1944, p. 120 

Andre Breton, Le Surrealisme et la Peinture, New York, 1945, 
pp. 196-197 

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Collection of the 
Societe Anonyme, 1950, pp. 34-35. Text by George Heard 
Hamilton 

John I.H. Baur, Revolution and Tradition in Modern American 
Art, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1951, pp. 70-71 

Thomas B. Hess, Abstract Painting: Background and American 
Phase, New York, 1951, passim 

Modern Artists in America, Robert Motherwell, ed.. New 
York, 1951, passim 

Selden Rodman, The Eye of Man, New York, 1955, pp. 122, 
136-137 

William C. Seitz, Abstract-Expressionist Painting in America: 
An Interpretation Based on the Work and Thought of Six Key 
Figures, Ph.D. dissertation, Princeton University, 1955, 
passim. Publication forthcoming 

Rudi Blesh, Modern Art U.S.A.: Men, Rebellion, Conquest, 
1900-1956, New York, 1956, pp. 132, 244-245, 257-259 

Lloyd Goodrich, "Arshile Gorky" in New Art in America: 
Fifty Painters of the 20th Century, John I.H. Baur, ed., Green- 
wich, Connecticut, 1957, pp. 188-191 

Marcel Brion et al., Art Since 1945, New York, 1958, pp. 289, 
293, 294, 296, 297, 300, 301, 304, 308, 326 

Stuart Preston, "Painting in the United States: 1885-1957" in 
Modern Art, A Pictorial Anthology, Charles McCurdy, ed., 
New York, 1958, pp. 146, 204 

Lloyd Goodrich and John I.H. Baur, American art of our 
century. New York, 1961, pp. 114-117 

Clement Greenberg, Art and Culture: Critical Essays, Boston, 
1961, pp. 112, 125, 195, 212, 213, 214, 216, 220, 230, 231, 233, 
234, 235 

Dore Ashton, The Unknown Shore: A View of Contemporary 
Art, Toronto, 1962, pp. 23, 29, 42, 46, 48-55, 71, 82, 207-208 



Thomas M. Messer, "Gorky" in La Galerie des Hommes 
Celebres, Bernard Dorival, ed., Paris, 1964, pp. 208-211 

Harold Rosenberg, The Anxious Object: Art Today and Its 
Audience, New York, 1964, pp. 26, 99-106, 109, 261, 249 

Henry Geldzahler, American Painting in the Twentieth Century, 
New York, 1965, pp. 152, 179, 180-182, 183, 188, 191, 197 

Edward F. Fry, Cubism, New York, 1966, pp. 66-67 

Theories of Modern Art: A Source Book by Artists and Critics, 
Herschel B. Chipp, ed., Berkeley, Los Angeles, 1968, pp. 510, 
532-536 

Francis V. O'Connor, Federal Support for the Visual Arts: The 
New Deal and Now, Greenwich, Connecticut, 1969, passim 

Harold Rosenberg, Artworks and Packages, New York, 1969, 
pp. 68, 136, 191, 202, 212, 216, 222 

Irving Sandler, The Triumph of American Painting: A History 
of Abstract Expressionism, New York, Washington, D.C., 
1970, passim 

Paul Cummings, Dictionary of Contemporary American Artists, 
New York, 1971, p. 143 

Stuart Davis, Diane Kelder, ed., New York, 1971, pp. 178- 
183, 192-194 

Dore Ashton, The New York School: A Cultural Reckoning, 
New York, 1972, pp. 1, 2, 3, 16, 20, 22-23, 25, 27, 31, 47, 61, 
68, 75, 94, 96, 99, 100, 109, 113, 119, 123, 124, 147-148, 155, 
159, 164, 166, 173 

Three Generations of Twentieth-Century Art: The Sidney and 
Harriet Janis Collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New 
York, 1972, pp. 98, 114, 115, 184. Texts by Alfred H. Barr, 
Jr. and William Rubin 

Sam Hunter, American Art of the 20th Century, New York, 
1972, pp. 160, 165, 167, 168, 171, 172, 189, 191, 211, 213, 216 

The New Deal Art Projects: An Anthology of Memoirs, Francis 
V. O'Connor, ed., Washington, D.C., 1972, pp. 59, 60, 65, 70, 
108, 116, 130, 204, 213, 224, 229, 232, 235, 236, 237, 244, 257, 
321,323 

Harold Rosenberg, The De-Definition of Art, New York, 1972, 
pp. 35, 64, 100, 101, 130, 131, 147, 183, 185, 186, 189, 193, 194, 
218 

Hilton Kramer, The Age of the Avant-Garde: An Art Chronicle 
of 1956-1972, New York, 1973, pp.300, 313-315, 327, 349, 351, 
393,421 

Richard D. McKinzie, The New Deal For Artists, Princeton, 
New Jersey, 1973, p. 166 

The Genius of American Painting, John Wilmerding, ed., 
London, 1973, pp. 252, 254, 261-263, 265, 267-268. 270, 271, 



279 



272, 281, 284, 288, 289, 290, 332 

Art for the Millions: Essays from the 1930' s by Artists and Ad- 
ministrators of the Works Progress Administration Federal Art 
Project, Francis V. O'Connor, ed., Greenwich, Connecticut, 
1973, pp. 24, 30, 31, 70-71, 72, 73, 278, 299, 303 

Brian O'Doherty, American Masters: The Voice and the Myth, 
New York, ca. 1973, pp. 53, 57, 126, 156, 157 

Lawrence Alloway, Topics in American Art Since 1945, New 
York, 1975, pp. 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26 

Readings in American Art 1900-1975, Barbara Rose, ed., 
New York, 1975, pp. 98, 107-110, 186 

Barbara Rose, American Art Since 1900, New York, 1975, 
pp. 104-105, 106, 120, 123, 125-127,129, 131, 139, 142-147, 
154-156, 159, 162, 179,263 

Julien Levy, Memoir of an Art Gallery, New York, 1977, pp. 
128, 136, 156, 259, 278, 280-285, 287-294 

Milton W. Brown, American Art: Painting, Sculpture, Archi- 
tecture, Decorative Arts, Photography, New York, 1979, pp. 
457-458, 477^79 



B. ARTICLES 

James Johnson Sweeney, "L'art contemporain aux Etats- 
Unis," Cahiers d'Art, Paris, vol. 13, no. 1-2, 1938, pp. 45-52 

Clement Greenberg, "Art Chronicle: The Decline of Cubism," 
Partisan Review, vol. 15, March 1948, pp. 366-369 

Peter Blanc, "The Artist and the Atom," Magazine of Art, vol. 
44, April 1951, pp. 145-152 

William Seitz, "Spirit, Time and 'Abstract Expressionism,'" 
Magazine of Art, vol. 46, February 1953, pp. 80-87 

Clement Greenberg, "'American-Type' Painting," Partisan 
Review, vol. 22, Spring 1955, pp. 179-196. Reprinted in 
Greenberg, 1961, see General Books, p. 279 

Sidney Geist, "Prelude: The 1930's," Arts, vol. 30, September 
1956, pp. 49-55 

William Rubin, "The New York School — Then and Now, 
Part II," Art International, vol. 2, May-June 1958, pp. 19-22 

Lawrence Alloway, "The New American Painting," Art 
International, vol. 3, no. 3-4, 1959, pp. 21-29 

Robert Goldwater, "Reflections on the New York School," 
Quadrum, no. 8, 1960, pp. 17-36 

Dore Ashton, "Seven American Decades," Studio, vol. 165, 
April 1963, pp. 148-153 

Edward B. Henning, "In Pursuit of Content," The Bulletin of 
the Cleveland Museum of Art, vol. 50, October 1963, pp. 218- 
239 

Franz Schulze, "On Modern American Painting," Apollo, 
vol. 78, October 1963, pp. 274-280 

Dore Ashton, "La voix du tourbillon dans I'Amerique de 
Kafka," XXe Siecle, nouvelle serie, XXVIe annee, May 1964, 
pp. 92-96 

Richard Armstrong, "Abstract Expressionism Was an Ameri- 
can Revolution," Canadian Art, vol. 21, September 1964, pp. 
263-269 

Kenneth B. Sawyer, "The Grossman Collection, U.S. collec- 
tors of modern art — 2," Studio International, vol. 169, February 
1965, pp. 82-87 



Art in America, vol. 53, August-September 1965, pp. 108-109 

Lawrence Alloway, "The Biomorphic Forties," Artforum, vol. 
4, September 1965, pp. 18-22 

Max Kozloff, "The Critical Reception of Abstract-Expres- 
sionism," Arts Magazine, vol. 40, December 1965, pp. 27-33 

Thomas M. Messer, "Kandinsky en Amerique," XXe Siicle, 
no. 28, December 1966, pp. 111-117 

Rosalind Constable, "The Betty Parsons Collection," Art 
News, vol. 67, March 1968, pp. 48-49, 58-60 

Francis V. O'Connor, "New Deal Murals in New York," 
Artforum, vol. 7, November 1968, pp. 41-49 

Dore Ashton, "Response to Crisis in American Art," Art in 
America, vol. 57, January 1969, pp. 24-35 

Jacob Kainen, "Prints of the 30's: Reflections on the Federal 
Art Project," Artists Proof, vol. 11, 1971, pp. 34-41 

Susan C. Larson, "The American Abstract Artists: A Doc- 
umentary History," Archives of American Art Journal, vol. 14, 
no. 1, 1974, pp. 2-6 

Ellen H. Johnson, "American Art of the Twentieth Century," 
Apollo, vol. 103, February 1976, pp. 128-135 

Hayden Herrera, "We Were the Cafeteria People," Mulch, vol. 
304, Spring-Summer 1976, pp. 41-57 

Hayden Herrera, "John Graham: Modernist Turns Magus," 
Arts Magazine, vol. 51, October 1976, pp. 100-105 

Stephen C. Foster, "Making a Movement Modern: The Role 
of the Avant-Garde Critic," Art International, vol. 20, October- 
November 1976, pp. 59-61, 63 

Eila Kokkinen, "John Graham During the 1940s," Arts Mag- 
azine, vol. 51, November 1976, pp. 99-103 

"Early Abstract Expressionism: The 1940s," Flash Art/Heute 
Kunst, no. 86-87, January- February 1979, pp. 26-28 



II. On the Artist 

A. MONOGRAPHS 

John Loftus, Arshile Gorky, Master's thesis, Columbia Univer- 
sity, 1952 

Ethel K. Schwabacher, Arshile Gorky, New York, 1957. Pre- 
face by Lloyd Goodrich, Introduction by Meyer Schapiro, 
letters and statements by the artist 

Alfred Frankenstein, "An American Artist's Tragic 
Insights," New York Herald Tribune Book Review, De- 
cember 22, 1957, p. 6 

Stuart Davis, "Handmaiden of Misery," Saturday Re r 
view, vol. 40, December 28, 1957, pp. 16-17 

Robert Rosenblum, "Arshile Gorky," Arts, vol. 32, 
January 1958, pp. 30-33 

Mardiros Sarkisian, "Arshile Gorky — A Struggle for 
Recognition," Hoosharar, vol. 45, February 1, 1958, 
pp. 6-9 

Sonya Rudikoff, "Gorky and Tomlin," Partisan Review, 
Winter 1958, pp. 157-160 

Fairfield Porter, Art News, vol. 62, May 1958, p. 43 

Robert F. Reiff, College Art Journal, vol. 18, Winter 
1959, pp. 191-192 



Clement Greenberg, "America Takes the Lead 1945-1965," Harold Rosenberg, Arshile Gorky: The Man, the Time, the 



280 



Idea, New York, 1962 

Robert Goldwater, "The Genius of the Moujik" Saturday 
Review, vol. 45, May 19, 1962, p. 38 

Sidney Geist, "Gorky/Rosenberg: two reviews," Scrap, 
no. 8, June 14, 1962, pp. 1-3 

Paul Goodman, "Portrait of the Artist" Partisan Review, 
vol. 29, Summer 1962, pp. 448^*50 

Harold Rosenberg and Paul Goodman, "Gorky and 
History: an Exchange," Partisan Review, vol. 29, Fall 
1962, pp. 587-593 

Robert Reiff, "Harold Rosenberg: Arshile Gorky," Art 
Journal, vol. 22, Spring 1963, pp. 148-152 

Julien Levy, Arshile Gorky, New York, 1966 

James R. Mellow, "The Most Elegant Stylist," The 
New York Times Book Review, March 31, 1968, pp. 6-7. 

Gorky Drawings, New York, 1970. Facsimile reproductions 

Robert F. Reiff, A Stylistic Analysis of Arshile Gorky's Art 
from 1943-1948, New York, 1977 (photo reprint of Ph.D. 
dissertation, Columbia University, 1961) 

Karlen Mooradian, Arshile Gorky Adoian, Chicago, 1978 

Karlen Mooradian, The Many Worlds of Arshile Gorky, Chica- 
go, 1980 

Jim M. Jordan and Robert Goldwater, The Paintings of Arshile 
Gorky: A Critical Catalogue, New York, forthcoming 

Harry Rand, Arshile Gorky: The Implications of Symbols, 
Montclair, New Jersey, forthcoming 



B. ARTICLES 

"Newark's Verdict is Awaited on Arshile Gorky's Murals," 
Newark Star-Eagle, November 12, 1936, p. 4 

Frederick J. Kiesler, "Murals without Walls: Relating to 
Gorky's Newark Project," Art Front, vol. 2, December 1936, 
pp. 10-1 1 . Reprinted in The Newark Museum, Murals Without 
Walls, 1978-79, see One-Man Exhibitions, p. 277 

Malcolm Johnson, "Cafe Life in New York," The New York 
Sun, August 22, 1941, p. 15. Includes statement by Gorky 

Milton S. Fox, "Camouflage and the Artist," Magazine of Art, 
vol. 35, April 1942, pp. 136-137, 154, 156 

James Johnson Sweeney, "Five American Painters," Harper's 
Bazaar, vol. 78, April 1944, pp. 122, 124 

Talcott B. Clapp, "A Painter in a Glass House," Sunday Re- 
publican Magazine (Waterbury, Connecticut), February 9, 1948 

"Old House Made New," Life, vol. 24, February 16, 1948, pp. 
90-92 

"Arshile Gorky Dies," Art Digest, vol. 22, August 1, 1948, 
p. 27 

Malcolm Cowley, "Arshile Gorky — A Note from a Friend," 
New York Herald Tribune, September 5, 1948, section 6, p. 3 

"Arshile Gorky," Art News, vol. 47, September 1948, p. 56. 
Obituary 

Willem de Kooning, "Editor's letters," Art News, vol. 47, 
January 1949, p. 6 

Lewis Balamuth, "I Met A. Gorky (1938)," Color and Rhyme, 
vol. 19, 1949, pp. 2-3 

Mary Burliuk, "Arshile Gorky," Color and Rhyme, vol. 19, 



1949, pp. 1-2 

"Our Editorial," Color and Rhyme, vol. 19, 1949, p. 1 

Alfred H. Barr, Jr., "Gorky, de Kooning, Pollock," Art News, 
vol. 49, Summer 1950, pp. 22, 60. Reprinted in "Towards a 
Definition of Abstract Expressionism," in The Baltimore 
Museum of Art News, vol. 22, February 1959 

Elaine de Kooning, "Gorky: Painter of His Own Legend," 
Art News, vol. 49, January 1951, pp. 38-41. Occasioned by 
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Gorky exhibi- 
tion, 1951, see One-Man Exhibitions, p. 274 

Stuart Davis, "Arshile Gorky in the 1930's: A Personal Re- 
collection," Magazine of Art, vol. 44, February 1951, pp. 56- 
58. Occasioned by Whitney Museum of American Art, New 
York, Gorky exhibition, 1951 , see One-Man Exhibitions, p. 274 

Lloyd Goodrich, "Eight Works by Arshile Gorky With Notes 
by Lloyd Goodrich," Magazine of Art, vol. 44, February 1951, 
pp. 59-61 

Lloyd Goodrich, "Homage to Gorky." Unpublished manu- 
script dated February 1951, on deposit in Gorky file, Whitney 
Museum of American Art, New York 

Balcomb Greene, "Essay on Gorky." Unpublished manu- 
script dated February 1951, on deposit in Gorky file, Whitney 
Museum of American Art, New York 

James Thrall Soby, "Arshile Gorky," Magazine of Art, vol. 44, 
February 1951, p. 56 

William C. Seitz, "Arshile Gorky's 'The Plow and the Song,'" 
Allen Memorial Art Museum Bulletin, vol. 12, Fall 1954, pp. 
4-15 

Karlen Mooradian, "Arshile Gorky," The Armenian Review, 
vol. 8, Summer 1955, pp. 49-58 

Arti Visive, no. 6-7, Summer 1957. Special Gorky issue 
in Italian and English with text by Toti Scialoja and excerpts 
from Schwabacher, 1957, see Monographs, p. 280 

Meyer Schapiro, "Gorky: The creative influence," Art News, 
vol. 56, September 1957, pp. 28-31, 52. Reprinted in Schwa- 
bacher, 1957, see Monographs, p. 280 and Meyer Schapiro, 
Modern Art, 19th and 20th Centuries: Selected Papers, New 
York, 1978 

Alain Jouffroy, "Arshile Gorky et Ies secrets de la nuit," 
Cahiers du Musee de Poche, no. 2, June 1959, pp. 75-85 

Harold Rosenberg "Arshile Gorky: The Last Move," 77?^ 
Hudson Review, vol. 13, Spring 1960, pp. 102-111 

Milton Resnick, ". . .A Distant Eye-Time," Scrap, no. 8, 
June 14, 1962, p. 2 

Dore Ashton, "Arshile Gorky peintre romantique," XXe 
Siecle, no. 19, June 1962, pp. 76-81, English translation, pp. 
127-128, 130, 132, 134, 136. Reprinted in XXe Siecle, no. 40, 
June 1973, pp. 87-91 

Mardiros Sarkisian, "Gorky," Ararat, vol. 3, Summer 1962 

Harold Rosenberg, "Arshile Gorky: his art and influence," 
Portfolio & Art News Annual, no. 5, 1962, pp. 100-1 14 

William S. Rubin, "Arshile Gorky, Surrealism and the New 
American Painting," Art International, vol. 7, February 25, 
1963, pp. 27-38. Portions delivered as lecture of same title, 
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in conjunction with 
Gorky exhibition, 1962-63, see One-Man Exhibitions, p. 276. 
Reprinted in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 
New York Painting and Sculpture, 1969, see Group Exhibitions, 
p. 272 

George Dennison, "The Crisis-Art of Arshile Gorky," Arts 
Magazine, vol. 37, February 1963, pp. 14-18. Occasioned by 



281 



The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Gorky exhibition, 
1962-63, see One-Man Exhibitions, p. 276, and publication of 
Rosenberg, 1962, see Monographs, p. 280 

Margaret Osborn, "The Mystery of Arshile Gorky: A personal 
account," Art News, vol. 62, February 1963, pp. 42-43, 58-61. 
Occasioned by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 
Gorky exhibition, 1962-63, see One-Man Exhibitions, p. 276 

Donald Malafront, "Mystery of Newark mural revealed in 
story of Gorky," Newark Star-Ledger, March 17, 1963 

Robert Reiff, "The Late Works of Arshile Gorky," Art 
Journal, vol. 22, Spring 1963, pp. 148-152. Revised chapter 
from Reiff, 1977, see Monographs, p. 281 

Nick Dante Vaccaro, "Gorky's Debt to Gaudier-Brzeska," 
Art Journal, vol. 23, Fall 1963, pp. 33-34 

Jo Miller, "The Prints of Arshile Gorky," Brooklyn Museum 
Annual, vol. 6, 1964-65, pp. 57-61 

"Baltimore Museum of Art: Two Works by Arshile Gorky," 
The Burlington Magazine, vol. 107, January 1965, p. 54 

Karlen Mooradian, "The Unknown Gorky," Art News, vol. 
66, September 1967, pp. 52-53, 66-68 

Karlen Mooradian, "Arshile Gorky: The Prompter," Harvard 
Art Review, vol. 2, Winter 1967 

Karlen Mooradian, "The Gardener from Eden," Ararat, vol. 
9, Winter 1968, pp. 2-13 

Karlen Mooradian, "The Philosophy of Arshile Gorky (Vos- 
danik Adoian)," Armenian Digest, vol. 2, September-October 
1971, pp. 52-74 

Karlen Mooradian, "The Crisis! of Cultural Identity in the Art 
of Arshile Gorky and Reuben Nakian," Armenian Digest (New 
York), October 1973, pp. 36-40, 61 

Ararat, vol. 9. Winter 1973, Special Gorky issue with articles: 
"Chronology of Vosdanik Adoian (Arshile Gorky)," pp. 
3-5 

Karlen Mooradian, "The Man from Van," pp. 6-8 

Karlen Mooradian, "A Sister Recalls: An Interview with 
Vartoosh Mooradian," pp. 9-18 

"The Letters of Arshile Gorky to Vartoosh, Moorad and 
Karlen Mooradian," pp. 19—43 

Karlen Mooradian, "Remembrances of Gorky, Conversa- 
tions with Milton Resnick, Robert Jonas, Willem de Koon- 
ing, Reuben Nakian, Max Schnitzlerand Yenovk der Hago- 
pian," pp. 44-55 

Jean-Luc Bordeaux, "Arshile Gorky: His Formative Period 
(1925-1937)," American Art Review, vol. 1, May-June 1974, 
pp. 94-102 

Nicolas Calas, "A Tough Nut to Crack," Artforum, vol. 13, 
May 1975, pp. 48-49 

Hayden Herrera, "Gorky's Self Portraits: The Artist by Him- 
self," Art in America, vol. 64, March 1976, pp. 56-64 

Arts Magazine, vol. 50, March 1976. Special Gorky issue with 
articles: 

Stewart Buettner, "Arshile Gorky and The Abstract- 
Surreal," pp. 86-87 

Gene Davis, "Gorky Taught Me That: A Remembrance of 
Arshile Gorky," p. 81 

Balcomb Greene, "Memories of Arshile Gorky," pp. 108- 
110 

Hayden Herrera, "The Sculptures of Arshile Gorky," pp. 
88-90 

Jeffrey Hoffeld," Arshile Gorky ; Collecting and Connois- 



seurship," pp. 106-107 

Jim M. Jordan, "Arshile Gorky at Crooked Run Farm," pp. 
99-103 

Jacob Kainen, "Memories of Arshile Gorky," pp. 96-98 

Diane Karp, "Arshile Gorky's Iconography," pp. 83-85 

Francis V. O'Connor, "The Economy of Patronage; Arshile 
Gorky on the Art Projects," pp. 94-96 

Harvey Quaytman, "Arshile Gorky's Early Paintings," pp. 
104-105 

Harry Rand, "The Calendars of Arshile Gorky," pp. 70-80 

Robert Reiff, "Arshile Gorky's Object Matter," pp. 91-93 

Barbara Rose, "Arshile Gorky and John Graham: Eastern 
Exiles in a Western World," pp. 62-69 

Nicolas Calas, "Letters to the Editor," Arts Magazine, vol. 50 
June 1976, p. 110 

Grace Glueck, "Art People," The New York Times, December 
17, 1976, p. C 18 

"Cheating the philistines," Art News, vol. 76, September 1977, 
pp. 20-22 

M. P. Lader, "Graham, Gorky, de Kooning, and the 'Ingres 
Revival' in America," Arts Magazine, vol. 52, March 1978, pp. 
94-99 

Duncan MacMillan, "The Outsider: Gorky and America," 
Art International, vol. XXIII, Summer 1979, pp. 104-106 

Terukazu Suenaga, "Mirror of Memory: Gorky's Cruel 
Change," Mizue, no. 894, September 9, 1979, pp. 5-45 

Barbara Rose, "Gorky, Tragic poet of Abstract Expression- 
ism," Vogue, vol. 169, October 1979, pp. 355, 386 

Michael FitzGerald, "Arshile Gorky's 'The Limit,'" Arts 
Magazine, vol. 54, March 1980, pp. 110-115 



III. By the Artist 

[Interview with Gorky] in "Fetish of Antique Stifles Art Here, 
says Gorky Kin," New York Evening Post, September 15, 1926. 
Reprinted in Rosenberg, 1962, see Monographs, p. 280 

"Thirst," Grand Central School of Art Quarterly, New York, 
November 1926. Poem, reprinted in Schwabacher. 1957, see 
Monographs, p. 280 

"Stuart Davis," Creative Art, vol. 9, September 1931, pp. 212- 
217. Reprinted in part in Schwabacher, 1957, see Monographs, 
p. 280 and Chipp, 1968, see General Books, p. 279 

"My Murals for the Newark Airport: An Interpretation," 
December 1936. Prepared for Art for the Millions, Emanuel 
Benson, ed., never published. Various versions subsequently 
published in Schwabacher, 1957, Rosenberg, 1962, see Mono- 
graphs, p. 280; Chipp, 1968, O'Connor, 1973, Rose, 1975, see 
General Books, pp. 279-280; The Newark Museum, exhibition 
catalogue, 1978, see One-Man Exhibitions, p. 277; typescript 
version "General Description of Newark Airport Murals" on 
deposit in Gorky file, Whitney Museum of American Art, 
New York 

"Garden in Sochi," June 26, 1942. Manuscript on deposit in 
Collections Archive, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. 
Reprinted with one line omitted in Schwabacher, 1957, see 
Monographs, p. 280; in part in Chipp, 1968, see General 
Books, p. 279; Arti Visive, 1957, see Articles, p. 281 

"Camouflage," Grand Central School of Art Catalogue, New 
York, 1942. Course announcement, reprinted in Schwabacher, 



282 



1957, and Rosenberg, 1962, see Monographs, p. 280 TV. Films 

Andre Breton, Young Cherry Trees Secured Against Hares, New 

York and London, 1946. Drawings by Gorky Armenian General Benevolent Union of America, Spotlight 

Miscellaneous papers on deposit in Gorky file, Whitney °" ^ rnie ; n ^ ns , Ser 'f' "2"?°™!° !" finity : The Life and Work 
Museum of American Art, New York; also Arshile Gorky of Arsh,le Go^. March t 4, 979 Interviews with Ruth Bow- 
File, the Whitney Museum Papers, microfilm roll numbers: man ' Jim Jordan and Karlen Mooradian. Color videotape 
N659-N662 in The Archives of American Art, Smithsonian WNET Thirteen, Dateline: New Jersey, Mural Without 
Institution Walls, 1979. Produced by Elizabeth Davis. Color videotape 



283 



Photographic Credits 



Color 



Courtesy Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo: cat. no. 161 

Courtesy E. A. Bergman: cat. no. 159 

Geoffrey Clements: cat. nos. 75, 125, 198 

Courtesy James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles: cat. no. 238 

Courtesy Andrew Crispo Gallery, New York: cat. no. 185 

Mary Donlon: cat. nos. 7, 54 

Courtesy Gerald S. Elliott, Chicago: cat. no. 195 

Courtesy Richard L. Feigen Gallery: cat. no. 126 

Courtesy Xavier Fourcade Inc., New York: cat. nos. 15, 

43, 78, 81, 100, 169 
Courtesy Graham Gund: cat. no. 161 
Greg Heins: cat. no. 170 
Scott Hyde: cat. no. 136 

Bruce C. Jones: cat. nos. 64, 77, 153, 163, 165, 227, 248 
Courtesy Dr. and Mrs. Leo A. Keoshian: cat. no. 199 
Paul M. Macapia, Seattle Art Museum: cat. no. 164 
Courtesy Duncan MacGuigan: cat. no. 226 
Geraldine T. Mancini: cat. no. 200 
Robert E. Mates, assisted by Aida Mates: cat. nos. 18, 90, 

145, 152, 181, 186, 214 
Robert E. Mates and Mary Donlon: cat. nos. 135, 157, 182 
Photographic Services, The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 

cat. no. 160 
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: cat. nos. 122, 146, 

228 
Courtesy The Museum of Modern Art, New York: cat. 

nos. 120, 220 
Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.: cat. 

no. 76 
Courtesy The Newark Airport Art Collection, The Port 

Authority of New York and New Jersey: cat. nos. 87, 88 
Courtesy David Nisinson: cat. no. 137 
Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art: cat. no. 244 
Courtesy Mr. and Mrs. Gifford Phillips: cat. no. 212 
Eric Pollitzer: cat. nos. 22, 149, 229 
Courtesy San Francisco Museum of Modern Art : cat. no. 

104 
Courtesy Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Randall Shapiro: cat. no. 243 
Joseph Szaszfai: cat. no. 12 
F. J. Thomas Photography: cat. no. 191 
Courtesy Frederick Weisman Family Collection: cat. no. 158 



Black and White 

Courtesy Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College: 
cat. nos. 201 , 204 



Courtesy American Broadcasting Companies: cat. nos. 171, 

172 
Courtesy Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto: fig. 14 
Courtesy The Art Institute of Chicago: cat. nos. 44, 72, 

155, 203 
Oliver Baker: cat. no. 3 

Courtesy Baltimore Museum of Art: cat. nos. 114, 183, 240 
Courtesy Barnes Foundation, Merion, Pa.: fig. 5 
Courtesy Mrs. Michael Berberian and Mrs. Satenig 

Avedisian: fig. 1 
Courtesy EA. Bergman: cat. nos. 9, 45, 133, 192 
Courtesy The Brooklyn Museum: cat. no. 180 
Geoffrey Clements: p. 15, cat. nos. 102, 245 
Courtesy Reynolds Brown: fig. 42 
Courtesy Sidney Janis Gallery, New York: fig. 10 
Courtesy Cleveland Museum of Art: cat. nos. 138, 143 
Courtesy James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles: cat. no. 8 
Mary Donlon: cat. nos. 19, 57, 96, 98, 116, 147 
Jerome Drown: cat. no. 121 
eeva-inkeri: cat. no. 106 
Philip Evola: cat. no. 85 

Courtesy Richard L. Feigen Gallery: cat. no. 178 
Courtesy Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, 

Cambridge, Mass.: cat. nos. 107, 210 
Courtesy Xavier Fourcade Inc., New York: frontispiece; p. 39 

top; cat. nos. 10, 16, 23, 26, 35, 37, 79, 80, 89, 92, 101, 

103, 115, 193,207,213,241 
X. de Gery: cat. nos. 11, 230 
Courtesy The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, The 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation: fig. 16 
Harland's Camera Graphics: cat. no. 131 
Greg Heins: cat. no. 222 
Hickey-Robertson: cat. no. 218 

Courtesy Susanne Hilberry Gallery: cat. nos. 55, 61, 217 
Courtesy Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. : cat. nos. 

62, 63, 65, 66, 91, 93, 95, 99, 100, 128, 156, 194 
Courtesy B.C. Holland Gallery, Chicago: cat. no. 177 
Bruce C.Jones: cat. nos. 4,41,99, 154, 173,219,242,248, 249, 
Courtesy Jim Jordan: cat. no. 20 
Courtesy Knoedler & Co., New York: cat. nos: 38, 48-50, 

52, 56, 70, 73, 82, 83, 105, 108, 110-113, 141, 179, 188, 

197, 208, 209, 221, 224, 225, 233, 234, 237 
Courtesy Steingrim Laursen: cat. no. 216 
Paulus Leeser: cat. no. 11 

Courtesy Los Angeles County Museum of Art: cat. no. 13 
Andrei Lovinescu: cat. no. 184 

Courtesy Lowell Art Association, Massachusetts: cat. no. 1 
John Mahtesian: cat. no. 250 
Robert E. Mates, assisted by Aida Mates: cat. nos. 34, 

47, 67, 69, 94, 109, 117, 130, 174, 205, 206 



284 



Robert E. Mates and Mary Donlon: figs. 40, 41 ; cat. nos. 

5, 25, 27, 60, 223, 235 
Courtesy Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York: fig. 39 
Photographic Services, The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 

figs. 28, 29; cat. no. 6 
Courtesy Dorothy C. Miller: cat. no. 119 
Courtesy Donald Morris Gallery, Detroit: cat. nos. 17, 

71, 175 
Courtesy Munson- Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica, New 

York: cat. no. 211 
Courtesy C. A. Muschenheim: cat. no. 84 
Service Photographique du Musee National d'Art Moderne, 

Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou: 

cat. no. 189 
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: figs. 2, 3; cat. no. 

215 
Courtesy The Museum of Modern Art, New York: figs. 

7, 8, 15, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 32, 33, 36, 38, 43; cat. nos. 

31-33, 36, 39, 68, 86, 118, 122, 124, 148, 167, 246, 247 
Courtesy National Archives and Record Service, 

Washington, D.C.: p. 40 
Courtesy National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian 

Institution, Washington, DC. : cat. no. 14 
Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.: figs. 

6, 27; cat. nos. 74, 196, 202 
Otto E. Nelson: cat. nos. 28, 42, 46, 231 



Courtesy William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, Kansas 

City, Missouri: cat. no. 168 
Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art: figs. 13, 20, 21, 26, 

34, 37 
Photography Inc., Toledo: cat. no. 140 
Piaget: cat. no. 139 
Eric Pollitzer: fig. 35; cat. nos. 29, 30, 51, 53, 97, 132, 144, 

232, 236 
Courtesy V.V. Rankine: p. 49 bottom 
Courtesy Mrs. Alexander Sandow: p. 39 bottom 
Ben Schnall, Life Magazine, Courtesy Time Inc.: p. 50 bottom 
Courtesy Maro Gorky Spender: p. 49 top right 
Courtesy Statens Museum fur Kunst, Copenhagen: fig. 4 
Ken Strotham: cat. no. 239 
Joseph Szaszfai: fig. 12; cat. no. 187 
Courtesy The Tate Gallery, London: cat. no. 129 
Courtesy University Art Museum, University of Texas at 

Austin: cat. no. 21 
Herbert P. Vose: cat. nos. 151, 190 
Courtesy Washington Art Consortium, Washington State 

University, Pullman: cat. no. 176 
Courtesy Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; 

photos by Geoffrey Clements: p. 49 top left; figs. 8, 11,31 
Courtesy Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven: fig. 

44; cat. no. 40 
Courtesy Natasha Gorky Young: p. 18 



285 



12,000 copies of this catalogue typeset by Samhwa 
Printing Co., with text set in 10 point Times New 
Roman 327, English Monotype, headings set from 
Times New Roman 327 display matrices. Printed by 
Nissha Printing Co. in four color offset and gravure. 
Smythe sewn and bound by Taikan-Sha, March 1981, 
for the Trustees of The Solomon R. Guggenheim 
Foundation. 



ISBN 0-89207-025-0 




ihilm